Luca - 2021

Luca - 2021
Movie Info

Rating: PG


Age-appropriateness: scenes of bullying and insulting teasing


Overview: On the Italian Riviera, an unlikely but strong friendship grows between a human being and a sea monster disguised as a human. Luca is a boy who has to struggle between his desire to obey his parents and his need of freedom and curiosity.


Themes: friendship, change, curiosity, freedom, lying, obedience, bullying, imagination, self-worth, being different, conflict resolution, vulnerability, father/son

The Quick 3

Ask these quick questions to hit the major themes of the film.

1. Freedom. How "free" do you feel in your life? Do you feel like you are able to do whatever you want to do? Why do you think true freedom comes from Jesus?

  • When Luca experiences the human stuff above the surface - when he thinks about being on a Vespa - he dreams about true freedom. Freedom is the ability to go wherever you want and do whatever you want. True freedom is found in Jesus Christ. In John 8:32, Jesus said, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."


2. Obedience. Do you ever break the rules on purpose? How do you know what is best for you?

  • Alberto taught Luca to silence the inner voice in his head - the one that was telling him to do the right thing. When Luca would hear the voice of his mother inside his head telling him to stay safe, he would say, "Silenzio, Bruno!". This is deliberate disobedience, and it was very disrespectful to his parents. Obedience is listening to and following the rules, knowing that's what's best for you.


3. Friendship. Who are your closest friends? Why is it better to live with a loving community than to be alone?

  • Luca met Alberto, a new friend who brought him to the surface. Alberto showed Luca how things on the surface worked. Luca and Alberto did fun things together and became really close friends. God created us to be in relationship with other people. We weren't meant to live this life alone. God gives us a community so that we can have fulfillment and support. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken."

After The Movie Discussion Guide

Follow this 5-10 minute discussion guide to drive an in-depth conversation.

1. Luca's mother protected her family from the surface. She said, "the curious kid gets caught". She told Luca to stay away from the surface because it was dangerous. Luca's mother wanted to keep her son safe because she loved him so much. But Luca became so curious when he had an experience above the surface. How curious would you describe yourself to be? Has your curiosity ever gotten you into trouble?


2. When Luca experiences the human stuff above the surface - when he thinks about being on a Vespa - he dreams about true freedom. Freedom is the ability to go wherever you want and do whatever you want. True freedom is found in Jesus Christ. In John 8:32, Jesus said, "And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." How "free" do you feel in your life? Do you feel like you are able to do whatever you want to do? Why do you think true freedom comes from Jesus?


3. Luca met Alberto, a new friend who brought him to the surface. Alberto showed Luca how things on the surface worked. Luca and Alberto did fun things together and became really close friends. God created us to be in relationship with other people. We weren't meant to live this life alone. God gives us a community so that we can have fulfillment and support. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says, "Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." Who are your closest friends? Why is it better to live with a loving community than to be alone?


4. Alberto taught Luca to silence the inner voice in his head - the one that was telling him to do the right thing. When Luca would hear the voice of his mother inside his head telling him to stay safe, he would say, "Silenzio, Bruno!". This is deliberate disobedience, and it was very disrespectful to his parents. Obedience is listening to and following the rules, knowing that's what's best for you. Do you ever break the rules on purpose? How do you know what is best for you?


5. After Ercole won the Portorosso Cup, he became very arrogant. He walked around like he was the most important person in the world. He constantly reminded people how they aren't as awesome as he is. Arrogance is the attitude of being overly proud of yourself. Do you know someone who is particularly arrogant? How often do you have an attitude of being overly proud of yourself?

Minute By Minute Guide

Use this break down of the entire movie in addition to the “After the Movie” discussion guide. Great for repeat viewings.

:04 Luca acts like a shepherd to a school of fish. Luca protects them, guides them, and cares for them. In John 10:11, Jesus calls Himself a shepherd. He says, "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd sacrifices his life for the sheep." What characteristics make a shepherd good? Why do you think Jesus was willing to sacrifice Himself in order to save His sheep?


:11 Luca is trying to decide whether or not to go to the surface. He struggles with this decision, not knowing if it's the right thing to do. He wants to obey his mother, but he also wants to discover what life is like on the surface. Do you think Luca made the right decision in going to the surface? Have you ever struggled to make a decision like this?


:17 Luca lies to his mother about being on the surface. He pretends that he was out looking for sea cucumbers. He told a lie because he didn't want to get into trouble. Have you ever told a lie to stay out of trouble? Did someone eventually find out the truth?


:28 Instead of accepting the consequence for his disobedience, Luca runs away and goes further into the human town. Luca could've admitted he was wrong and accepted his punishment. But instead, he made things worse. Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation? What would've been the right thing for Luca to do?


:33 When Giulia saw that Ercole was bullying Luca and Alberto, she stood up to him. She protected Luca when he was in trouble. She said that people who are different need to stick up for one another. When you see people being bullied, how do you typically respond? How can you stand up to bullies and stick up for people who are being mistreated?


:44 Giulia and her father need more money so that they can sign Giulia up for the big race. Luca and Alberto decide to help. They wanted to help their friend, so they help Giulia's father find fish. How often are you looking for ways to help your friends? Can you think of one way that you can help one of your friends this week?


:53 Giulia describes why she wants to win the race. She feels like everyone treats her like someone who doesn't belong. She feels like she's different and that others don't accept her as she is. She wants to win the Portorosso Cup so that she can prove herself to others. Do you ever feel like Giulia feels? What do you think you would have to do to prove yourself to others?


1:00 Luca's parents wonder how they can help their son. Luca's mother wonders if she was too hard on him. Luca's father wonders if he didn't pay enough attention to him. Do you ever think those things are true about your parents? Do you feel like your parents do a good job of keeping you safe?


1:04 When Alberto shows Giulia that he is a sea monster, Luca pretends like he is surprised. Instead of supporting Alberto, Luca protected himself. Alberto feels like Luca betrayed him. Have you ever had a friend turn their back on you? When was the last time you felt deeply betrayed by someone?


1:08 Alberto tells the story of his father leaving him. Alberto then becomes vulnerable, telling Luca that he feared abandonment. He was afraid that Luca would leave him as well, and that he wouldn't come back. Alberto is feeling lonely, sad, and vulnerable. Vulnerability is sharing openly and honestly with someone knowing you are risking being hurt. Do you feel like you can be that vulnerable with your friends? How do you think Alberto is feeling in this moment?


1:19 Luca, Alberto, and Giulia win the Portorosso Cup. They also reveal that they are actually sea monsters. To everyone's surprise, they are accepted just as they are. The community acknowledges that they werer afraid of what was different. But once they took the time to get to know Luca and Alberto, they realized that they aren't scary. They are actually pretty awesome. Are there any kids around you who are so different that you might actually be afraid of them? How can you take the time to get to know them and believe the best in them?