Movies About Forgiveness
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Movies About Forgiveness
Continuing Arolemodel.com’s series on the positive psychology of movies we now turn to movies about forgiveness. These movies are all capable of developing your forgiveness and should be watched and used alongside Arolemodel.com’s self improvement article on the psychology of forgiveness.
The Kite Runner
The Kite Runner is a 2007 drama film directed by Marc Forster based on the novel of the same name by Khaled Hosseini. It tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who is tormented by the guilt of abandoning his friend Hassan, the son of his father’s Hazaraservant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of Afghan refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the Taliban regime.
Impeccably crafted and smarter than your average thriller, Changing Lanes proves that revenge is a dish best served cold. A high-powered attorney (Ben Affleck) learns that lesson the hard way after he flees the scene of an accident involving an insurance salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) who holds a powerful advantage in his retaliatory strike against the lawyer’s arrogant behavior. Affleck has everything to gain if he can retrieve a lost document from Jackson, who has everything to lose (wife, family, savings) when threatened with financial sabotage. To his versatile credit, Notting Hill director Roger Michell never plays the race card in this escalating battle of wills, focusing instead on the percolating resentments of men at opposite ends of the economic scale. As he did inEyes Wide Shut, actor-director Sydney Pollack chillingly embodies the venal elite in a pivotal supporting role, and Changing Lanes potently illustrates the wisdom of heeding a guilty conscience. –Jeff Shannon
The Straight Story
The Straight Story is based on the true story of Alvin Straight’s journey across Iowa and Wisconsin on a lawnmower. Alvin, (played by Richard Farnsworth) is an elderly World War II veteran who lives with his daughter Rose (Sissy Spacek), a kind woman with a mental disability. When he hears that his estranged brother Lyle (Harry Dean Stanton) has suffered a stroke, Alvin makes up his mind to go visit him and hopefully make amends before he dies. But because Alvin’s legs and eyes are too impaired for him to receive a driving license, he hitches a trailer to his recently purchased thirty year-old John Deere110 Lawn tractor and sets off on the 240-mile journey from Laurens, Iowa to Mount Zion, Wisconsin.
The film follows the story of Alvin’s six-week journey across rural America, the people he meets, his impact on their lives, and theirs on his. It has been called a modern odyssey of a man dealing with his own mortality and mistakes and the lasting bonds of family.
The Widow of St. Pierre
In 1850, on the isolated French island of Saint-Pierre, a murder shocks the natives. Two fishermen are arrested. One of them, Louis Ollivier, dies incustody. The other, Neel Auguste (Emir Kusturica), is sentenced to death by the guillotine. However the island is so small that it has neither a guillotine nor an executioner. While one is sent for, Auguste is placed under the supervision of army Captain (Daniel Auteuil).
While Auguste is under the captain’s care, the wife of the captain, Madame La, (played by Juliette Binoche) takes an interest in the convict and begins to try to redeem him. Under her auspices, Auguste works hard and carries out a number of good deeds for the good of the community. The locals begin to see that he has changed, and Madame La begins a campaign to stop him from being executed. After a year of awaiting execution, Auguste has become a changed man.
When the guillotine finally arrives on the island, none of the islanders wants to be the one to trip the lever on the guillotine, thereby executing Auguste. However, Auguste remains a condemned man and someone must be found to pull the lever on the guillotine.
Manual Jordan, a man who served 22 years for killing a teenager during an attempted robbery, is granted parole from a life sentence. After spending his time staring at a clipping of Abner Easley, the boy he killed, he returns to the city he used to live in to find redemption. He ends up living at a community house which is run by Miles Evans, a preacher. He offers Manual work so he can pay for the room, and Manual places Abner’s photo in his room to remind himself.
While staying at the community house, he befriends Sofia Mellinger, a wild young woman with no adult figure in her life. Manual also encounters Adele Easley, the elder sister of Abner. She doesn’t recognize Manual and in his pursuit for forgiveness, he forms a friendship with her, and their relationship begins to develop.
Manual gets his chance for redemption when Adele’s rebellious teenage son becomes involved in violence. Manual tries to befriend him and steer him in the right direction, ever mindful of the past.
Dead Man Walking
A convicted murderer on Death Row and the nun who befriends him. Through the portrayal of finely drawn characters and their interactions as the days, hours, and minutes tick down to the condemned man’s execution, powerful emotions are unleashed. While Matthew Poncelet and Sister Prejean desperately try to gain a stay of execution from the governor or the courts, scenes are intercut from the brutal crime, gradually revealing the truth about the events that transpired. In addition to her temporal help, the nun also tries to reach out spiritually and assist as a guide to salvation.
Angela’s Ashes tells the story of Frank McCourt and his childhood after his family are forced to move from America back to Ireland because of financial difficulties and family problems derived from his father’s alcoholism. The film chronicles young McCourt’s life in Limerick, Ireland, during his childhood in the 1930s and ’40s, the difficulties that ensued, and finally Frank’s way of earning enough money to return to the land of his dreams: America. Michael Legge was praised for his portrayal of the adolescent Frank. In particular, he was said to acquiesce his role as an innocent teenager growing up with typical coming of age rites such as sexuality, maturity and peer pressure in a Catholic Irish setting.
The Fisher King
The Fisher King is a 1991 American comedy-drama film written by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Terry Gilliam. It stars Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Mercedes Ruehl, Amanda Plummer and Michael Jeter. The film is about a radio shock-jock who tries to find redemption by helping a homeless man whose life he inadvertently shattered.
Cry The Beloved Country
South African church minister Steven Kumalo is summoned from his village to Johannesburg. There he finds that his son Absolom has been jailed in connection with a robbery in which a white man was killed. The father of the white man, James Jarvis, is a supporter of apartheid, the separation of the races which is the law of South Africa. When they encounter each other, both Kumalo and Jarvis come to unexpected realizations not only about their sons, but about the nature of their own humanity.
Unforgiven is a 1992 American Western film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood with a screenplay written by David Webb Peoples. The film tells the story of William Munny, an aging outlaw and killer who takes on one more job years after he had hung up his guns and turned to farming. A dark Western that deals frankly with the uglier aspects of violence and the myth of the Old West, it stars Eastwood in the lead role, with Gene Hackman,Morgan Freeman, and Richard Harris.
In My Country
In My Country is a 2004 English-language film directed by John Boorman, starring Samuel L. Jackson and Juliette Binoche. The screenplay, written by Ann Peacock, was based on Antjie Krog’s memoir Country of My Skull.
The movie deals with the story of Afrikaner poet Anna Malan (Binoche) and an American journalist, Langston Whitfield (Jackson), sent to South Africa to report about the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.
Regret to Inform
Regret to Inform is a 1998 documentary film directed by Barbara Sonneborn. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
The film was made over a span of ten years. The documentary features filmmaker Barbara Sonneborn as she goes to the Vietnamese countryside where her husband was killed. Her translator is a fellow war widow named Xuan Ngoc Nguyen and together try to understand their losses. The film includes interviews with Vietnamese and American widows.
The Crossing Guard
Academy Award(R)-winner Jack Nicholson (1997 Best Actor, AS GOOD AS IT GETS) drives this suspenseful, critically acclaimed action thriller about one man’s unquenchable thirst for revenge! For six agonizing years, Freddy Gale (Nicholson) has waited for John Booth (David Morse, THE NEGOTIATOR), the man jailed for a crime that destroyed Freddy’s life. Now, Booth is out of prison and Freddy’s giving him three days before he returns … to even the score! Directed by Sean Penn and starring Academy Award(R)-winner Anjelica Huston (1985 Best Supporting Actress, PRIZZI’S HONOR) and sexy Robin Wright (MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE), THE CROSSING GUARD is an intense, emotionally charged thriller that delivers!
Positive Psychology Movies