Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Some People Chase A Dream, Others Follow It

Noble: A Dream Can Change A Million Lives
Starring Dierdre O’Kane, Sarah Greene, Brendan Coyle, Liam Cunningham, and Ruth Negga; Directed by Stephen Bradley; 2015

This is a movie based on the true life story of Christina Noble – a recipient of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) – who is the founder and driving force behind the Foundation that bears her name. It’s a story about children's rights in Vietnam. But it starts in Ireland many years earlier when young Christina, born in 1944, experienced being homeless and desperate. Life in an orphanage run by nuns is not all it’s cracked up to be for a young girl. Nor is a bad marriage. In 1971, she dreams about the napalm bombings in Vietnam and the children screaming and fleeing to survive. In her dream, she could see them falling into cracks in the road, disappearing forever, as some stretched out their arms to reach her. Nearly two decades later, with her own children now grown, Christina follows her dream to what was formerly called Saigon, and then Ho Chi Minh City, arriving as a tourist. Through some extraordinary circumstances she obtains a temporary work visa for just three months to prove what she can really do. On her last day, she is ready to head to the airport for a flight home, feeling a complete failure. You’ll have to watch the movie to find out what happened.

Director Bradley takes us back and forth between Christina’s life in Ireland and her time in Vietnam. Three different actors play her role at various ages and they are all excellently cast. The dialogue between those speaking English and those speaking Vietnamese is suburb with perfect intonation and simplicity in sentence structure.  The movie is strewn throughout with songs of Doris Day and others that Christina loved to sing as a young aspiring singer.  Some of them are actually worked into Christina’s lines and form a key part of the story.

But the most interesting aspect of the movie, from the time Christina is a very young girl until the very end of the movie is the fact that she talks very directly and as only a young Irish lass could, to God. There is no doubt He plays a significant role in her life and in the credits, one can read the phrase, “Christina Noble still talks to God.”

This is indeed an inspiring movie about a real inspiring life. Great viewing for the whole family, it is not heavily religious, nor is it sugary sweet. It tackles a lot of issues including rape, drinking, adultery, adoption, and child sex offenders with sufficient discretion.  In that regard, goodness knows we need more of these.

The movie certainly kept me interested and it was thoroughly enjoyed as well as thought-provoking. You come to the realization that you can’t save everyone you want to – but you lose much by not doing all you can to save the ones you can.

By Ken B. Godevenos, President, Accord Resolutions Services Inc., Toronto, Ontario, May 13, 2016. www.accordconsulting.com

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