Valkyrie: Lessons To Be Learned?

This post is going to prompt a new category around here called “tv doesn’t always rot your brain”. In fact, I use so many movies to spark interest and provide background knowledge on historical topics. Of course, you have to do your research and that is why I think I will continue to post more about the movies we have watched and what we gained from them.

The other night we rented Valkyrie with Tom Cruise. I have been wanting to see this for a while but the boys were less than thrilled. I finally won out the other night and I have to say we all learned something from it. In case you did not know the film is set in Nazi Germany (called Hitler’s Germany throughout the movie) during WWII and follows history fairly closely.

The main lesson we walked away with was a better understanding of the German Resistance movement. I had no idea that numerous attempts were made on Hitlers life by Germans. The line in the movie: “we were not all like him” was a key element the Resistance wanted people in the outside world to know. It was also the most important “take out” piece of the movie for us in talking to the kids after. It sparked a great discussion on racism, being a follower, standing up for what you believe in and not making mass assumptions.

I really think this is a great perspective to lend to your kids background knowledge of this era. As always, the film is not for everyone and you should read detailed reviews on the appropriateness of it for your family. Both of my kids were fine watching it at 10 and 13 but both Carter and I were grossed out by the eye. If you do decide to read about it, get some background knowledge so it makes more sense. We had to stop it several times in the beginning to fill the boys in on important information.

As always, let me know what you think or if you have another movie suggestion, fill me in below! *pass the popcorn please*


  1. Another great WWII movie about German Resistance is “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days. It’s a true story about Sophie, her brother and a friend and how they ended up being martyrs for the resistance movement. Link: . It is in German with English subtitles. It is a powerful movie. Also, there’s the movie, “Downfall” that is also in German with English subtitles. It outlines the last days of Hitler. Site: . As you stated in your post, review it to see if it’s appropriate for your children (may also be harder for children to follow with subtitles), but I believe that adults should watch these movies–especially Sophie’s story.

  2. We just watched Valkyrie this weekend too! Zeb only watched bits and pieces but it still opened up a lot of conversation and brought about plenty of questions. Like you, I have never heard anything about the Resistence. That was what had *me* thinking the entire time. Germany sits with this big, nasty scar on their history and so few know this side of their story. Why can’t we exemplify more of *that* in our history books?

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