I found this post in the drafts of my blog and it’s now a year old. I’m going to post it without changing anything because I was trying to say something at 3am when I wrote this a year ago. If it doesn’t make sense, watch Wit anyway. At the end, I’m going to add a couple thoughts from the present.
This semester I’ve been taking an Introduction to Film class, which has been absolutely fantastic. One of the things we do in that class is discuss the different elements of filmmaking, which is then accompanied with clips from various movies, or the like, to show the elements on screen. Throughout the semester, one film that was consistently brought up in class was the movie Wit. On Friday we were discussing spirituality that can be found in movies, and once again this movie was brought up.
So, after finding out that the entire movie is on Youtube, I decided to start watching it at 1am on Sunday morning.
It was probably, simultaneously, the best and the worst decision I’ve made so far.
The film made me bawl, sob like there was no tomorrow. There was rain flowing out of my eyeballs, just as the storm was picking up outside. It was so coincidental.
I’m now going to take a moment to write about some of the beautiful moments of the movie that really made me think about life, death and happiness, all at the same time.
The main character of the film is a scholar, specializing in the poetry of John Donne. (Upon watching the film, I then researched him and read up on some of his poetry.) As she is discussing her analysis of one of Donne’s poems with her professor, her professor goes into a monologue about what the poem really means and how the punctation makes all the difference in the overall meaning of the poem. This poem ties the entire theme of the movie together, because the main character, Vivian, finds out she has cancer and begins to struggle between life and death for about a year of her life.
Vivan’s professor explains that the translation is incorrect because there should be a comma where the semi-colon is on the last line.
“‘And death shall be no more’ COMMA ‘death, thou shalt die.’ Nothing but a breath, a comma, separates life from life everlasting.”
I think this is one of the most beautiful lines of a film ever.
In the grand scheme of things, death is just a blip on the plan of eternal life, just has she mentions and explains in the movie. Though it may be subtle, there is definitely a spiritual aspect to this movie. Through faith in God and heaven, death doesn’t mean an ending, all it means is a pause, or a comma.
“Death shall be no more, death, thou shalt die.”
At the end of the film, Professor Ashford once again makes an appearance, bringing her wisdom and her thoughts with her. As Vivian lay, almost lifeless in her hospital bed, Ashford, instead of reciting a Donne poem, reads The Runaway Bunny to Vivian. The story follows a young bunny telling his mother that he will run away, however, no matter what he turns into, his mother will find him and continue to be there with him. Professor Ashford says, “A little allegory of the soul. No matter where it hides, God will find it.” This scene is so wonderful and absolutely beautiful because Vivian is found; she has been alone for the entirety of her suffering, and just when she begins to slip into unconsciousness, she is found, much like the way God can find us.
I believe that this is something we should try to remember. I know, some people may not believe in God or life after death, however, I do. I believe it with all my heart, which is one of the reasons I think this movie is so beautiful.
We can be found, even in our loneliest times, when we feel like no one is there for us and our suffering is beginning to take over. I honestly believe that God will find us wherever we may be and He will help us. He can save us.
As I was rereading this, I realized how much I needed the point I was trying to make. God knows us and he can and will save us. This is super important for me to remember because life is hard and questions are always there, however, if I can just hold on to the idea that God can save me, that should be just enough to get me through. Right now, it seems somewhat hypocritical for me to post about faith and trusting in God, but God is welcoming to everyone — no matter where our faith stands.