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SUBJECTS --- U.S./1945 - 1991 & Nevada;
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING --- Alcohol and Drug Abuse;
MORAL-ETHICAL EMPHASIS --- Responsibility; Caring.
Age: 13+; MPAA Rating: PG; Drama; 1986; 103 minutes; Color.
This is a coming of age movie about Rose, an adolescent girl who lives in Las Vegas during the early 1950s. The Korean War is raging. The U.S. government is conducting atmospheric atomic bomb tests in the Nevada desert. Rose has an alcoholic stepfather and a codependent mother who enables her husband's alcohol abuse while suffering from her own problems with gambling addiction.
Desert Bloom shows much about life in the U.S. in the early 1950s, and how we as a nation dealt with (or ignored) the possibility of nuclear war ("duck & cover"), alcoholism, spousal abuse, child abuse, and gambling addiction. It shows, with compassion and tenderness, a girl coming of age amid the many problems of the adults around her.
The TeachWithMovies.com Learning Guide to Desert Bloom will help parents and teachers introduce atomic testing in the U.S. and the period of the 1950s. It will supplement U.S. history classes relating to that period. In addition, the Guide provides background and discussion questions helping teachers and parents address the issues of coming of age, substance abuse, gambling addiction, and child abuse.
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Desert Bloom is an exquisite movie of a young girl coming of age.
Learning Guide Excerpt
To demonstrate how our Learning Guides can be used by teachers to improve lesson plans, we have set out below a paragraph from the Learning Guide to Desert Bloom.
In this film, the mother is a codependent enabler of her husband's alcoholism. An enabler is someone who, while protesting that they do not want the alcoholic to drink, protects the alcoholic from the consequences of the drinking and acts in other ways to facilitate the alcoholic's refusal to face up to the disease. Alcoholism is a progressive disease. Until the alcoholic stops drinking, it will only get worse.
The Learning Guide to the film Desert Bloom contains sections on Benefits of the Movie, Possible Problems, Helpful Background, Discussion Questions, Links to the Internet, and Bridges to Reading. The Discussion Questions are divided into three categories: Subject Matter, Social-Emotional Learning, and Moral-Ethical Emphasis.
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