How Film Studies Can Help Students Understand Sport Related Messages

A sport movie is an film genre which makes use of sport as the main theme of the movie. It’s a fictional production where a sport, fan of sport, event, or athlete are heavily involved, and that rely on sport to some extent for their main plot inspiration or resolution. A recent example of a sport movie that was successful is the action/adventure film The Pursuit of Happyness. It tells the story of a young woman who is so obsessed with the game her passion for it ends up getting in the way of everything else in her life.


This film illustrates how the competitive nature of sport can actually get in the way of people’s lives in unproductive ways. As a character in the film says, “I just want to be good at football. It’s just a pastime”. This is indicative of a negative view of sport that we have all had at some point, and this negative view is usually fostered by associations that we have with other things like auto racing or weightlifting.

This kind of film-viewing can have serious consequences, such as the following example. While watching The Pursuit of Happyness, a woman watches while her husband practices his boxing skills, she comments on how much punching he does. To her, it seems as though punching is the only way to effectively perform in the sport. As a result, the couple goes to the park to punch at each other, setting the tone for much of the rest of the movie.

Though many people may not realize it, this example illustrates a deeper problem about why we can easily become attached to things such as auto racing, weightlifting, etc. We see certain things associated with these items as somehow “sporting” or “cool”, and often fail to recognize that these associations often carry with them certain negative connotations. We have to be careful not to allow ourselves to fall into this trap.

A sport related film can have an enormous impact on an individual’s life. For instance, The Pursuit of Happyness would influence viewers to feel that boxing is an action-packed sport that is popular among young men. It might also cause an impression that a woman is weak and delicate if she is not involved in sports activities, as being an athlete is often associated with women who are strong and tough.

Thus, film studies scholars would advise students to be critical of sport related materials and consider them as art. If you are a fan of a particular sport, be sure to tell your friends about it, perhaps you should even wear it yourself so that others can see what all the fuss is about! Also, consider the possibility that the sport in question actually has some inherent value or merit that can be explored through multiple methods and mediums. Sometimes it is good to just let the sport take care of itself!