Film 11 - October Sky

Movies that Will Inspire You:
Learning to See the Child Who is Not Yet There

There are a number of wonderful films that capture the essence of teachers who have been able to see and hold the vision of what a child can be and do. October Sky is one of them. It is available on Netflix and other venues. Public libraries often have a good selection of such films, or you can rent them or even buy your favorites through

October Sky is an entertaining story of a young man growing up in West Virginia. His father is a coal miner and expects his son to follow in his footsteps. On October 4, 1957, Sputnik—Russia’s first rocket—streaks across the sky and inspires the young man by the name of Homer Hickam, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. Homer goes on to become a top NASA aerospace engineer and a best-selling author.

The possibility of this coal-miner’s son becoming a rocket scientist is a little too far-fetched for his father, played by Chris Cooper, to contemplate. Fireworks ensue as Homer’s interest in rockets is steadfastly opposed by his father. A teacher, portrayed by Laura Linney, sees the potential of Homer and his passion to learn about rocket science.

This film is great for your family and an inspiration to every child who becomes fascinated by a topic that may be obscure or complex and desperately wants to do something special. The help of this teacher, who sees the child who is crying to be expressed, is a testament to what a single supportive adult can do in the life of a motivated young person.

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