Lessons from the movies

We went nearly every Saturday afternoon in the summer. Movies didn't cost much in those days if you were under twelve. The air-conditioned theater seemed like a great place to be on a hot afternoon in August. Afterward, coming home you'd keep thinking about the heroic action you'd seen on the screen.

Movies nowadays don't often move anyone in a positive direction. Frequently they pull down rather than lift up. But once in a while there are films so insightful and so true to the dimensions of the human heart that you come out almost a different person from what you were when you went in.

Perhaps there is a considerable lesson to be learned from the way an occasional film can awaken and energize and open our thought. We're reminded of how natural it is to us to see things in the largest, most loving terms. Anything less is sheer imposition. You could call it an overlay. I remember a time recently when two relatives who had been barely on speaking terms came out of the theater inspired by an excellent film they'd just seen. Their relationship was mended, and they just naturally began sharing their deepest feelings about the picture.

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A book that heals
April 27, 1987

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