Monday, January 7, 2008


I'm a busy mom and wife trying to run a household, working full-time hours (and then some). I don't have time to do movies, in theatre or on DVD. I tried on Friday to watch go to the movies, no babysitter; I tried today, still no babysitter. No matter, since it's been a year or so, what's another weekend? I finally settled down and watched a movie on the small screen. By force, rather.

I was busy filing through old bills, working on some financial housekeeping (a future post, I promise), and my husband keeps passing by the room, pausing, and giving me this burning stare as if to say, "You busy?" He did this a few times within a 5- minute span, always shrugging, "oh, nothing", to my impatient "What?!?"

So I follow him to the livingroom and ask, "Do you really want me to watch Mr. & Mrs Smith with you?". Yes, was his reply, you'd enjoy it.

So I sat and watched, by force, like I said. We've owned the movie for a while, but I never got around to watching it. Entertaining piece of Hollywood. I won't reveal more about the movie in case you haven't seen it, but I probably was the last person in North America to bear witness to the Jolie-Pitt love affair unfolding on the screen. I must admit, that's one sexy couple!

We finished the movie, and my husband thought he would pop in another DVD for us to watch, since I seemed to be in the mood and not distracted like I normally am.

We've been test-driving a DVD service for the past couple of months, where we create a list of movies we want to watch and we get them sent in the mail and return them back via mail too. No late fees, no walking to Blockbuster. It's a little bit like Christmas when we find out what movies we get sent. We've had a couple of DVDs lying around just waiting to get watched; my husband popped in one of these movies: Blood Diamonds.

My husband had seen most of it already, unable to wait until we watched it together. Naturally, he fell asleep halfway through. I, myself, was entralled! As a pacifist, and a parent, I watched wistfully at the characters' plights. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, and Jennifer Connelly, it tells of Sierra Leone in the 1990s, ravaged by revolutionaries and rampant genocide, cursed with the taste for wealth due to trafficked conflict diamonds. A moving story of a diamond smuggler, a journalist and a man whose family means more to him than all the diamonds in the world. An amazing, gut-wrenching movie which is stll keeping me awake at 2am.

I used to watch movies and not be affected like this. It's one of the reasons why I don't mind watching horror movies; I never carry any of it away with me. But, somehow, a responsibility has grown within me, and I have this inane compassion that just spills out when I watch dramas now. Case in point: Pursuit of Happyness, starring Will Smith. Never revealed before, I had an emotional breakdown during that movie. I commiserated so well with the main character, the dams broke and I just cracked, cried and cried and cried like I never had before. To this day, I believe that was a turning point in my life; funny how a silly, ol' movie does that to you.

So, just like after Pursuit of Happyness, pondering on my own financial destiny and my meaning of happiness, I ponder yet again, tonight on the genocide and emotional scars of Sierra Leone's youth. The movie, despite its Hollywood sensationalism, reminds me of how frivolous and petty my own problems are and how there are many, many issues in this world that are just so much greater than ourselves. I survive to go to work to pay off a mortgage, spend whatever time possible with family, keep the house clean; others just survive. Period. For me, movies have become a lesson to learn from, a window, of sorts, of what life is like on the other side for others. Being born in Canada, I don't have a history of walking through barren fields, heavy jungle or even urban disaster zones of gunfire. I'm blessed to own a home, my parents still talk to me, I have a car, a job, my health, even some friends. Clearly, I have many things in life to be thankful for; a couple of them lie peacefully asleep in beds under warm blankets, breathing gently amidst the still of the night. I should join them, and dream with them, because I can.


Post a Comment