A number of years ago, I made a promise to myself that I would never watch another Jim Carrey movie. What I saw in Ace Ventura was enough to make me realize his brand of humor was not funny in my book. (I also made the same promise not to watch anything by Martin Lawrence for the same reason.) And yet, I broke the oath I took to myself a number of years ago and watched The Truman Show, starring none other than Jim Carrey. Here's a rundown if you've never watched this 1998 film. Carrey brilliantly plays Truman Burbank whose life is a reality television show and everyone on earth knows it except Truman. All the people in his life are actors and every move is scripted. Shot in a dome, the 24 hour per day show has no ads and makes money only though product placement. At age thirty, though, Truman becomes suspicious of his life and tries to escape, leading to a confrontation with the producer/director, a man named Christof who is played by Ed Harris. Honestly, I had forgotten much of the movie in the close to fifteen years since I rented it and had to do a Cliff Notes-like search online as a refresher. Last week, as I do on a daily basis, I searched for a film clip to begin class and I wanted one about making choices. I found this clip from The Truman Show on wingclips.com, a fantastic website with a myriad of short clips which provoke thought on a number of Christian based themes. If you wouldn't mind, click on the link below (or copy and paste if need be) and watch what my students watched last week.
We talked about living in a world where you are protected and safe but is that really living? We referenced The Wizard Of OZ, a common view of many of the nature of God, an old man who pulls strings behind the clouds and thunder. Contrast Truman's world with the world we know, the one where we find heartache and disaster but also joy and fulfillment and most of all, freedom. Christof believed Truman could not leave because of fear, the same obstacle many of us face in our daily lives. Christof was wrong, I take it, because he underestimated the human spirit and he underestimated Truman. Our God created His children for worship and greatness but along with the free will He placed in our hearts comes the capacity to fail... and the capacity to get back on our feet. In that regard, our lives are really reality, and we can't be afraid to walk through the open doors He has placed in front of us.
Applicable quote of the day:
“Because to take away a man's freedom of choice, even his freedom to make the wrong choice, is to manipulate him as though he were a puppet and not a person.”
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