At The Movies: Loss Of Innocence

Scott Woller

In This Series We Are Using Movie Clips As Jumping Off Points To Dialogue

What do the top ten movie themes tell us about community, culture, faith and church?


The Loss of Innocence

It’s the classic “coming of age story.” This theme incorporates a young protagonist that is introduced to the complexity of the adult world. Sometimes the protagonist is eager to step into this new world (Sixteen Candles), and sometimes they are thrown into it by some incident (Juno). While lighter comedies may focus on rituals of becoming adults, such as drinking and partying, there are many more serious films that center around this theme. Often, the actual loss of innocence is spurred by a traumatic event such as death, abuse, or even a divorce. Darker films (American Beauty) explore the more turbulent world of the modern American teenager. While these films traditionally center on teenagers, they can reach many younger demographics as well (Where the Wild Things Are). Even the smash hit Toy Story 3 touched on the loss of innocence and the end of the childhood era.