Clint and I ventured out for our first movie together since the pandemic began. Last Friday we saw Belfast, Kenneth Branagh’s 1969 historical drama loosely based on his own childhood. The movie’s powerful riot sequence hits hard and brings to life the historical tensions between Protestant and Catholic gangs in a working-class neighborhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The young family upon which the movie centers has to decide whether to stay in their birth community (among beloved friends and extended family) or flee for safer shores, which is an all-too-human decision people have had to make amidst violence, across the world, and from time immemorial. Often there is tremendous suffering in decision making when weighing potential losses with potential gains. I won’t spoil the movie for you by telling you the family’s decision, but I do encourage you to see it. I feel such gratitude that my life has never been marked by an environment of such violence. Movies like Belfast make me increasingly sympathetic to all manner of refugees who just want a safer life for their children.
One line from the movie I do want to share with you is what the Protestant father says to his young son regarding his son’s schoolboy crush on a Catholic girl: “That wee girl can be a practicing Hindu, or a Southern Baptist, or a vegetarian antichrist, but if she’s kind, and she’s fair, and you two respect each other, she and her people are welcome in our house any day of the week.” Imagine what a different world it would be if we all felt that way and could communicate and embody those sentiments! I hope you mask up and go see it!
Happy New Year,