Although we haven’t watched Titanic (yet) we did recently watch a National Geographic documentary about the making of the Titanic film and some of the real-world history. The documentary also focused on reflections from director, James Cameron.
My passion for stories and sharing them with our kids is one of my favorite parts of parenting. My take on some mundane daily parenting tasks such as the shepherding of brushing teeth: ultra frustrating and boring. Introducing them to history and culture? Delightful. We all have our quirks, right?
Perks for the Kids
During the documentary, Titanic: 20 Years Later with James Cameron, our kids were introduced to a number of topics:
- the movie Titanic
- more of the history regarding the Titanic tragedy
- footage of dives to the Titanic
- the process of filmmaking
- interviews with great-grandchildren of the family members who lived and passed away on the Titanic
Perks for the Parent
Although I think they were too young to catch the nuance of some of the documentary’s meaning, I enjoyed hearing James Cameron reflecting on his critical choices and confessing to mistakes along the way. This was a meaningful reflection from a creative standpoint and I enjoyed his vulnerability and willingness to admit his mistakes.
Additionally, I enjoyed learning about how Cameron continued to study the Titanic wreck during the last two decades. He has remained very engaged with the discovery process and the historical understanding of the ship since the film came out to the public in 1997. Who knew?
I learned so much through this short one hour documentary and it was refreshing to engage with James Cameron’s creative process.
Where to Stream
We watched this from my Disney+ password-protected parent account. It would not be available in the regular kids profiles.
What I’d Skip if we watched it again …
There was one scene (~21:41) that was rather disturbing. The clip is from the Titanic film. It shows people in a small boat searching the night with flashlights for survivors who hadn’t already frozen to death. The light pans over many dead floating bodies. Although this imagery startled me (I forgot about it from pervious viewings of the film), it didn’t last too long (2 clips of less than 5 seconds each). This would be fast-forward worthy depending on the sensitivity of the adults & kids watching. The documentary even goes on to discuss how triggering this particular scene was for some family members who lost loved ones on the Titanic. All in all, it seemed okay for our kids to begin to grasp a bit of the sadness and gravity of this tragedy. I realize I can’t shelter them from all imagery of death. Mostly, I think the benefits of the show outweigh the drawbacks of a few visually heavy scenes.
Repeat viewing or not?
I would let them watch this again without me in the room to guide the discussion and fast-forward as needed. We enjoyed this show immensely over the course of two evenings and it is always a relief to me to step away from the week night grind to enjoy some storytelling, culture, and history.