I guess all of us have our favorite movies. One of mine is An Unfinished Life.
I like this movie so much I gave a DVD of it to my daughter for her birthday. It is a story about forgiveness. I suppose that is in short supply some times.
Jennifer Lopez plays a woman who is the victim of domestic abuse and runs away from an abusive man. She runs from Iowa all the way to Wyoming to stay with her former father-in-law, Einer (Redford).
She brings with her, her 10-year old daughter - the granddaughter Einer has never met.
Einer doesn't want her around. About 10 years earlier she was driving the car that was in an accident. Einer's son was killed. Since his son's death, Einer has been drinking and grieving. His wife left him and now he lives alone on a ranch with his long time friend played by Morgan Freeman.
Morgan Freeman's character was mauled by a grizzly bear earlier. Now that he is recovering, he has asked Einer to figure out a way to release the bear from a make shift zoo and set him free. Freeman's character wants to forgive the bear for the attack. As Einer looks at the bear in this scene, he doesn't understand why his friend would want the bear released.
Einer refuses to forgive Lopez's character for the death of his son. However, it is the granddaughter, named Griff after her father (Griffin), who manages to finally get through to the grandfather she has never met.
Over time Einer starts to love his granddaughter and the two of them do everything from driving an old truck together to learning about horses.
Through his granddaughter, Einer is able to finally forgive his former daughter-in-law and, most importantly, in some way, to forgive himself. Through a lot of soul searching he decides perhaps it is time to live again and quit wallowing in the past.
I think the movie provides a lesson for all of us. That even though life may not deal us a fair hand and even though we have our trials and tribulations, life is meant to be lived - not mourned.
Instead of drowning ourselves in the various sorrows that have surrounded us, we need to be strong enough and willing enough to push through the past and look to the future.
This last image is just for fun -- it shows the video with the French title. Last night I watched French Kiss (a very good movie if you have not seen it). Johnny Carson used to always say that he really didn't care what the French were saying, he just liked to listen to the language as it is so beautiful. I agree.
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