What a movie should do…
A good movie should make you smile, laugh, cry, distract you, entertain you. Every film does this on some level. The good ones, the great ones, do more than that. They give you something to take with you. Sometimes this is because they have moved you, disturbed you, or taught you a lesson. Sometimes it is because they have left you with a moment that you dream about, that you ponder, that you keep coming back to. And then there are the ones that tell us important stories, stories that we need to know, stories that make a difference. They are stories of real and everyday people who are amazing or have gone through events in their lives that are more intense and incredible than you or I have had to deal with but somehow still teach us something about who we are and how to survive our own stories, our own struggles. Last year, one of the best films Hollywood produced did all of that.
Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Stellan Skarsgård star in 2014’s historical film The Railway Man. This film is based on the true life story of a British soldier who served during WWII. Firth and Skarsgård served in a unit that surrendered during the Fall of Saigon. British soldiers surrendered under the belief that they would be treated humanely. However, the Japanese army used those men to build their railway in one of the most brutal treatment of POWs in history. The Railway Man tells the story of these men, who years later are trying to live their lives. They survived war, they lived through hell, and now have to learn how to come to terms with the everyday. Firth thinks he has this down until he meets Kidman and finds his life turned upside down. He must confront and deal with his past before he has a hope for a future.
This is a movie about war. It’s a movie about love. But, it is about much more. Today, our culture has become quite familiar with the term PTSD, but what it does, how to deal with it, and its long term consequences are very intangible to most. This movie looks at the aftershocks of war in one of the most beautifully crafted films we’ve seen in a long while. The story of healing and raw courage is inspiring and moving, to say the least. This is a film that you will not want to miss. It will remind you of the difference between surviving and getting through life and actually living.
Come join us for a free screening of The Railway Man Wednesday, November 19th at 7 p.m. in the TVCC Science Center. Come. Bring a friend. Everyone is welcome.