International Friendship Day 2020 Reading and Film Guide
“... a friend criticizes you to your face and praises you behind your back.
And as experience says, a real friend is a friend in all seasons. The others are just summertime friends.”
– Eduardo Galeano, Children of the Days
In 2011, July 30 was declared the International Day of Friendship by the General Assembly of the United Nations. Living through a pandemic has brought the value of our closest relations into even greater focus. As librarians, we take this celebration as a moment to reflect upon the many narratives of friendship in film and literature. The following post is a selection of these stories.
Some friendship stories are about how a group moves on or doesn’t move on from the death of a common friend, like John Cassavettes’ Husbands, and Tessa Hadley’s Late in the Day. There are stories of the friendships between outlaws, swindlers and outsiders including the iconic Thelma and Louise, Jean Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders and John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy.
Friendship stories also often explore character growth or change, as in coming of age narratives like Alfonso Cuarón’s Y Tu Mamá También about the friendship of two teen boys or Peter Jackson’s Heavenly Creatures, a film about intense friendship and love between two teen girls.
There are stories of friendship through adversity, such as The Color Purple, by Alice Walker or the Dardenne brothers’ films Rosetta and Kid with a Bike. There are stories that centre around the reunion of friends, like Bernhard Schlink’s The Weekend, or the film, The Big Chill. And then there are friendships that have become part of our cultural background, like The Three Musketeers and Don Quixote.
This post was compiled by three librarians who are also close friends: Naomi Davies, Sina Lack and Margaux Smith. Here are some of our favourite stories of friendship old and new!
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (1937).
Visions of Cody by Jack Kerouac (1972). Currently only available in regular print.
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro (2001).
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844).
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (2011. Series).
Lives Other Than My Own by Emmanuel Carrère (2009).
Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murakami (1994).
The Waves by Virginia Woolf (1931).
Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley (2019).
4 months, 3 weeks, and 2 days (2007).
Y Tu Mamá También (2001).
Midnight Cowboy (1969).
Kid with a Bike (2011).
Thelma and Louise (1991).
Cinema Paradiso (1980).
Boyz n the hood (1991) .
All Screwed Up (1974)
For Kids and Families
Swimmy by Leo Leoni (1963).
I Just Ate my Friend by Heidi McKinnon (2017).
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel-illustrator (1970).
George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two best Friends by James Marshall (1972). Currently only available in regular print.
Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson (1957).
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1977).
Holes by Louis Sachar (1998).
My Life as a Zucchini (2017).
Ernest and Celestine (2012).
Little Rascals (1994).
My Neighbour Totoro (1988).
The BFG (2016).
The Land Before Time (1989)
The Outsiders (1983)
What are your favourite books and movies on friendship? Please share them with us in the comments below!