Friday, April 18, 2014

Philomena--A film of a Mother's Love

I first saw the movie, Philomena on an international flight. Even with the droning of the plane’s motors, the passengers milling around and the flight attendants moving back and forth—I found tears on my cheeks. This does not happen often. Philomena touched  me at some primal level. After I arrived home I rented the movie for my wife to see. I was as moved at the second viewing as I was at the first.

It is the true story of an Irish woman’s search for her lost son. As a young naive teenager a young man talked her into having sex. Out of that brief encounter she found herself pregnant. Her father—embarrassed and ashamed--sent her away to a Catholic Abbey in another part of Ireland that that took in such girls. She had a little boy and he became the love of her life. That young mother was forced to work for four years of hard labor to pay off the cost of her stay. One day she discovered that the nuns had adopted out her son without her knowledge. Fifty years later she was still wondering about her boy.

For fifty years her only tie to her child was a tiny photo she had of her little son before he was taken away. She kept that pregnancy secret all those years. Finally one day she confessed to her daughter. That daughter contacted an out of work journalist she knew that might help. But the man had no interest in writing a human interest story.

But her insistence and desperate desire to find her child pulled the writer into her life and her search. Out of that search the journalist, Martin Sixsmith wrote the story called The Lost Child of Philomena Lee which was published as a novel in 2009.

So this was the true-to-life story of one mother’s love for a child she lost fifty years before. With the help of the journalist she was able to discover the truth of her son’s life. The sub-theme of the film was the cruelty and judgment of the nuns and the church they represented fifty years before. Thank God the church has changed immensely since those hard and brutal days.

But what brought tears to my eyes was the depth of the mother’s love for her child even after all those years. Judi Dench who played the mother was magnificent. The pain in her face and the hurt of this woman’s heart came through again and again. As the credits rolled by at the end of the movie you see the real mother, the real son, the Journalist, the real nuns and the picture of the author that wrote the story.

I will not tell you the ending. I simply say not many movies come along these days that deal with the triumphant of the human spirit. Philomena is such a movie. I recommend it to everyone.

                         --rogerlovette /

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