Monday, May 15, 2017

The Basis

This is about one of my favorite movies. It's from August 1, 2013.
I'm not real big on watching movies, especially since the demise of the video stores like Blockbuster. There are two times, however, when I do avail myself of cinema. One is when I'm at my brother Scott's house at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Scott and his wife Karen are big movie watchers and we usually catch some flicks over the holidays. Last winter, it was Hunger GamesThe other time I find myself in front of a screen watching a movie is when I'm flying to and fro on my mission trips to China and Vietnam. For instance, on my recent mission in Can Tho, I had six flights totaling approximately 45 hours. That's a great deal of time to spend in front of a entertainment console!

I saw several movies this trip but one was clearly my favorite. On the way over, I watched The Sapphires, a 2012 film from Australia, and re-watched large portions of it on the way home. The Sapphires  is the story of four Aboriginal girls who sing together from the time they are little. The girls, three sisters and their cousin, grow into lovely young women who end up on a leap of faith touring Vietnam and singing for the troops. It's a tale of family and danger and overcoming prejudice and includes the culture and music of the times. I knew from the opening scene that this was a film based in fact. When I got to Vietnam, I even watched several of the scenes on youtube, including my favorite one posted here, set at a talent contest where the girls sing, of all things, Merle Haggard's Today, I Started Loving You Again.  I even looked the movie up on Google, wanting to know more about the actual family and see what they looked like, which is a trait of a good movie. That's when I found out the truth.

You see, at the beginning of the family, there was this statement:
Based on a true story!

Sometimes, films change the wording just a bit:
Inspired by a true story!

Honestly, The Sapphires was such an enjoyable movie to me that I thought it had to have remained true to the history. And it did.....sort of. The movie was taken from a play written by Tony Briggs whose mother was one of the group. But the four girls were two sisters and two cousins, not three sisters and a cousin. Perhaps the main character in the movie, the girls' manager, Dave Lovelace, was fictional and how the young ladies turned to soul music from country and western is also made up. And only two of the four girls actually went to Vietnam a the other two were against the war. After I had read the Wikipedia article, I was disappointed because the portrayal I accepted as accurate wasn't really. And I liked it so much I wanted it to be. It doesn't take away from the movie and the fact that it was written by a family member kind of makes it more palatable. Still, I'm left with a bit of sadness and maybe that's just silly.
Based on a true story! 
You know, sometimes I wonder if that isn't how we as believers live our lives. We call ourselves by the title of the Messiah who freed us from sin and gives us eternal life. But, often, we are not the accurate portrayal of His life and teachings that we should be. Like The Sapphires, we remain true to the Jesus' story.....sort of. Oh, we might still be recognizable as followers but we fall far short of the emulation to which we are called. The good news is that He loves us anyway, in spite of our character flaws. Well, if my life is going to mirror the movie, I probably will be requesting that Brad Pitt reprise the role of Steve. After all, we're dealing with accuracy issues.

To watch The Sapphires sing Today, I Started Loving You Again, click or copy/paste the link below:

Applicable quote of the day:
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."
God bless,
Luke 18:1
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