Thursday, 20 August 2009


Watched "The Shawshank Redemption" for about the fifth time with Fr Christopher this evening on Film4. Great 1994 film set in an American jail with Tim Robbins and the great Morgan Freeman - I hope all you out there have seen it. There aren't many I can watch again and again, but Shawshank is so uplifting, it speaks of many things, about hope and despair, friendship and callousness, the human spirit and so on. I have a little insight into prison life as I was chaplain to Cardiff prison in the early 80's. The utter boredom and the institutionalization that can some with extended or repeated sentences... One of my favourite parts of the movie is when our hero plays a duet from "The Marriage of Figaro" through the PA system of the jail, and all the men drop what they are doing, to be whisked away for a moment by the sheer beauty of the music. The reconciliation at the end is all the more moving by being filmed quickly and with a quickly receding camera. It's a feel-good film set in one of humanity's most dehumanising environments - and all the more hope-inspring for that. If you haven't seen it, do so!

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