Film Inquiry Review by Laurie Agard, PhD
Director Elena Miliaresis’ 92-minute documentary While Time Stands Still is one of my favorite types of film: a low budget indie created by a persistent artist who perseveres through numerous obstacles, overcomes overwhelming odds, and works relentlessly to tell an engrossing and moving story that she is personally passionate about.
While Time Stands Still is also a wonderful example of my other favorite type of film: a positive psychology movie – a film that helps us examine virtues, and makes us think about how we treat other people. Watching positive psychology movies can be an incredibly pleasurable method for personal growth. When I want to deliberately watch a film in order to look for and learn about character strengths, I turn to Niemiec and Wedding’s “Positive Psychology at the Movies” for big-budget film suggestions. As psychologists Niemiac and Wedding write, “Good art is a sacred experience that touches that ‘unspoiled spot’ inside all of us.”
However, I find it increasingly difficult to find guides for low-budget indie films like Miliaresis’ that so effectively show human condition and provide stories and characters that help us think about how we can use our character strengths to connect more deeply with other people and our world. So, as I watched While Time Stands Still I felt elated at the find.