I recently sat down with my 9 year old to watch the movie “The Passion of the Christ”, a poignant and important movie to anyone in the Christian faith and specifically those who are devout followers of Jesus Christ. I have only seen it once before because it affected me so deeply, I remember sobbing almost uncontrollably in the movie theatre. I am an extremely sensitive person and this particular movie cut me to the core because I believe it illustrates the truth about what God did for me. But to tell you the truth, I often cry when movies are sad. It started me thinking about how many movies have moved me to tears, each for individual reasons. *possible spoiler alerts*
1. Sommersby – my BFF would say that the fact that Richard Gere is the romantic lead in this movie is enough to make her cry…but the truth is I thought that the premise of the movie was sad and very moving. Unfortunately I have to turn the movie off for the last 7 minutes, because it is so sad that I become overwhelmed with grief.
2. Shindlers List – similar to “The Passion”, this movie is especially sad because it is a true story and that is even more heartbreaking than any fictional movie. The atrocities committed during the Second World War cut me to the core and overwhelm me with feelings of injustice and heartbreak at the human suffering.
3. Hotel Rwanda – the strife and genocide in Rwanda is such a blight on human history that one can’t help but remember the news coverage in the 1990’s. Perhaps it is because I remember the graphic news images that affected me so deeply during my teens when I was developing a social conscience, or perhaps the events were so awful it is forever imprinted on my heart and mind.
4. Spirit – this movie is actually forbidden in my home because Mommy has a nervous breakdown every time I watch it! Again, the knowledge that the heinous treatment of early Native Americans and “breaking” of wild horses actually happened, is heart-breaking and I don’t want to watch it for entertainment.
5. P.S I Love You – a movie about a woman who loses her husband to cancer and he schedules letters to arrive after his passing periodically to help her through her grief. I still have my husband fortunately, but I think this movie is cathartic for me in that I know what it is like to grieve my Mother intensely. I believe that crying through this movie is a healthy way to tap into my “Walking Grief” without hurting as much. It’s like a cleansing cry.
6. Steel Magnolia’s – Sally Field’s portrays the over-protective Mother so well that the viewer cannot help but feel her pain as she loses her daughter. The frustration and despair that she feels is contagious and I cannot help but feel my own heart-wrenching loss right along with the movie.
7. The Notebook – this incredible timeless love story reaches me as a woman and wife. And the incredible devotion of the male protagonist to his wife suffering with Alzheimers is the kind of thing that love story legends are made of. Every woman dreams of a man that will love her that much.
8. Braveheart – again a man devoted to the love of his life and so filled with righteous passion it is truly inspiring. So much so that one cannot help but feel devastated at his death and the manner in which he is executed. This is another movie I can only watch up to the last 10 minutes. Just knowing how it ends is almost too much to bear.
9. The Lion King – I don’t have a problem with the whole movie, but the part where King Mufasa is killed is very difficult for me to watch…especially since I can barely see the screen through all my tears. I remember watching this (as an adult) and sobbing like a big toddler, while surrounded by a theatre full of unaffected children. See, I am a cry-baby.
10. Green Mile – although completely fictitious, the concept that an innocent man could take upon himself the evil and sin of unworthy people with whom he comes in contact, cuts me to the core. Micheal Duncan Clarke beautifully portrays this messianic character to perfection. I find the injustice represented and his beautiful sacrificial spirit so compelling that it requires me to consider my heart and my need for a Saviour.
Which leads me right back to the inspiration for this post. Unlike the Green Mile which is not real, The Passion of the Christ portrays something real that happened and reminds me of how grateful I am that God sent His son to die for me. This understanding of His incredible sacrifice for me, moves me to tears of sorrow over my sin and tears of gratitude that such an amazing was gift offered to me so freely. Awesome.