I love movies and the exceptional ability they have to captivate and impact my whole being. But then again in many ways, I am not a typical movie buff.
For one, I am very choosy about the movies that I watch, and that has been the case especially over the past couple of years.
Moreover, I’m horribly out of touch with contemporary movies and usually hardly have any clue about new releases or what’s playing in theatres.
But there was a time in my life back while I was in school when watching movies was one of my favourite forms of entertainment.
I would devour the huge movie collection on both of my eldest brothers’ hard drive when they would come home for vacation during college. It was a mind-expanding experience, and the various movies I watched exposed me to a lot of interesting things that I probably would have never known about otherwise.
In this blog post, I’d like to share with you three movies that have moved me to tears which convey timeless truths and messages.
The movie is based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, a materialistic businessman who moves to Krakow during the German invasion of Poland with the intention of exploiting cheap Jewish labour.
He makes himself a fortune during the Second World War by setting up a factory mostly consisting of Jewish workers to produce enamelware.
Witnessing the horrors and atrocities displayed by the Nazis towards the Jew as World War II progresse, Schindler's motivations gradually starts to shift.
He saves his Jewish workers from ending up in concentration camps and he begins to offer luxury gifts as bribes to the Nazi officials to protect them from being sent to the fatal gas chambers.
He eventually uses his entire fortune to save the lives of over 1,100 Jew by paying off bribes until the end of the war in 1945.
The movie directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Thomas Keneally's 1982 non-fiction book Schindler’s Ark, was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning seven, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Score.
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Schindler's List 8th on its list of The 100 Best American Films of all Time.
Director, Spielberg forwent a salary for the film, calling it "blood money", and used the film's profits to found the USC Shoah Foundation, to honour and remember the survivors of the Holocaust.
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1962 film based on Harper Lee's 1960 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name that addressed themes such as racism and injustice.
This is a movie I put off watching for many years because the first few minutes seemed dry and I assumed it would not be a kind of movie I would like.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! Ever since my first viewing, it’s been one of my favourite movies.
It recounts the childhood experiences of six-year-old “Scout” when her widowed father, Atticus Finch, a virtuous and respected lawyer, defends a black man falsely accused of raping a white woman, Scout and her brother witness the horrors of racism.
One of the reasons I love this movie is because of the impeccable character of Atticus Finch, who is brilliantly portrayed on screen by Gregory Peck. The way he interacts with his fellow men and children is admirable.
The movie won three Academy Awards, and in 2003, The American Film Institute (AFI) named Atticus Finch, the greatest movie hero of the 20th century.
One of the lines that I really love from the movie is Atticus Finch explaining to his daughter,
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
With religious and racial intolerance seemingly on the rise around the world, these lines are more relevant than ever for humanity.
Judah Ben Hur portrayed by Charlton Heston
Set in the time of Christ, it portrays the fictional story of “Judah Ben Hur” a wealthy Jewish prince from Jerusalem who is betrayed by his best friend Messala a Roman, who put his mother and sister in jail and sends him into slavery.
He then becomes obsessed with the idea of going back to Jerusalem and getting revenge on Messala.
Ben-hur is a tale of betrayal, revenge, forgiveness, reconciliation and finding peace.
He has a few momentary encounters with Jesus Christ (though his face never appears on the screen) at different points in his life, which has an impact on his outlook.
Though it runs for 212 minutes, it is a gripping movie which is known for its iconic chariot race, shot at a time when CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) didn’t exist. And even today the sequence is a sight to behold.
The movie bagged a staggering 11 Oscars– a record that stood alone until Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King equalled it decades later.
In case you haven’t seen any of the movies I’ve listed, I’d highly recommend checking them out.
Apart from winning plenty of Oscars and accolades, all of these movies feature some exceptional acting performances, direction and engaging storylines and will be time well spent.
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