Friday, February 15, 2008


"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies."

There are not yet enough things that make me cry. Its part of my Stoic Ulster Presbyterian upbringing, one which was ever distrustful of displays of emotion. But as I get older more things sneak in under the wire and let those emotions out. And it’s a mix of things from the usual births and deaths to gratitude while sitting round a table with good friends breaking bread, sunrise over a Vietnamese beach, an episode of the West Wing, a story by Frederick Buechner, a poem by Hopkins, a smile from the right person at the right time. And I cry as often over beauty as I do sadness and there’s one scene in one movie which is a sure bet, gilt edged guarantee to break through my cynical journalist mask and without even realising it my face is wet with tears.
It happened again last night at the Lenten film series at Downtown Presbyterian Church. The feature was “The Shawshank Redemption” and in a story packed with gems the scene that gets me every time is when Andy Dufresne the almost Christ like central character finds a record of Mozarts Marriage of Figaro. He locks himself in the Wardens Office and plays the track “Che Soave Zeffiretto” over the Prison loudspeakers and suddenly everyone in that grim dark place stops and listens. But enough from me, it is best described by Andys best friend Red played by Morgan Freeman. Click on the title above to watch the scene on You Tube – I haven’t quite worked out how to embed yet or just enjoy the words.

"I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are better left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can't be expressed in words, and it makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a grey place dares to dream. It was as if some beautiful bird had flapped into our drab little cage and made these walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free." - Red

No comments: