Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Cinematic Classic

Yesterday I posted that I am making a Cinema Divina Retreat. One of the films we watched is a classic, "To Kill a Mocking Bird." The story takes place in a fictional Southern town called Maycomb. Played by the impeccable Gregory Peck, Atticus Finch is a widowed lawyer with two children, his son, nick-named Jem, and his young daughter, Scout. Scout narrates as a grown up Louise when there is no dialogue. Together with Jem, Scout is both carefree and curious about many things, especially the mentally challenged son of the next-door neighbor. From scary hear say, the children named the reclusive son Boo. Scout is the most talkative sibling whose innocent greeting of a poor farmer turns a dangerous situation into a non-event.
Produced in 1962, the story tells of the efforts of Atticus Finch to defend a black man falsely accused of raping a young woman. Her father is notorious as the town drunk whose temper becomes more violent the more he drinks. Atticus is a model of a Christian gentleman. He treats the black woman who serves as maid and full time nanny for the children with kindness and respect. He could even cheer up an elderly lady known for her cranky disposition.The film's title comes from a statement Atticus made at dinner one evening: "It is a sin to kill a Mocking Bird." When the children ask "Why," Atticus says that this bird never attacks anyone, it only sings for us, it gives us pleasure. With no medical records to prove the accusations against Mr. Robinson, Atticus hopes to win his case by showing the jury how flimsy is the case to prosecute Robinson. Viewers used to "forensic science facts" would be mystified to watch the way the trial proceeded without any real evidence. Filmed in black and white, the movie makes great use of light and dark, and facial expressions. When Atticus finally leaves the courthouse, everyone in the gallery stands up. When Scout ask why she should, the Reverend tells her, "Stand up, your father is passing by!" If you have seen this film, maybe you could view it again by seeing it through a "gospel lens." If you have never seen "To Kill a Mocking Bird," don't miss this classic which touches on events that happen even today. And, the film reminds me of Matthew, Chapter 25 verses 31 and following. Tomorrow will be the final day of my Cinema Divina Retreat. I promise my prayers for all of you who read my posts! God bless you!

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