Get Low: An intriguing story of confession and forgiveness

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Get, Low, Film, Duvall, Murray

I was able to catch a sneak preview of one of the most intriguing movies I’ve watched in a while – Get Low. It stars Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek. And it’s all inspired by a true story.

For years, townsfolk have been terrified of the backwoods recluse known as Felix Bush. People say he’s done all manner of unspeakable things — that he’s killed in cold blood; that he’s in league with the Devil; that he has strange powers — and they avoid him like the plague. Then, one day, Felix rides to town with a shotgun and a wad of cash, saying he wants to buy a funeral.

But this ain’t no normal funeral. See, Felix Bush wants to attend his own funeral…alive. And he’d really like to hear what everyone else has to say about his controversial life. But it turns out Felix has a confession of his own to make.

I really enjoyed the movie. It’s very steady. The soundtrack is outstanding. The characters are excellent. Duvall and Murray are especially entertaining. But most of all, I love the familiar human struggle so deeply infused into the plot. The film does a gripping job of portraying our human need for forgiveness. Not only to be forgiven by others, but the necessity and difficulty we have in actually first forgiving ourselves.

What I love about it, though, is that it portrays this theme of forgiveness in a realistic way. Forgiveness is not a magic wand we waive at our intellect to make it overlook past transgressions. Forgiving and being forgiven is ultimately about reconciliation. A real communion with others. With our conscience. With God.

And that reconciliation is begun with a contrite heart, expressed through confession, made insufficiently right through penance and dependent upon a Faith, Hope and Love that will forgive you anyway despite your being insufficient.

When we sin, we sense there is something that needs to be made right. We know that we deserve to be punished. We long for forgiveness. We thirst for the strength and courage to confess it. We desire to make amends, do penance and move on with our lives after being reconciled with those we have sinned against.

Any attempts to thwart this process only make it more difficult and are ultimately futile. It’s just the way the universe is designed. Some people accept this more readily than others. For Felix Bush it took 40 years.

The movie is coming to a theater near you very soon. Please support it!  We need more good films that deal honestly with these issues. Here’s the trailer:

3 comments Add comment

caite@a lovely shore breeze August 2, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek…how can I not go see that.

dbond August 2, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I think it would be good to see with family and extended family for the sake of promoting forgiveness and reconciliation within the family-the first church. I hope to see it when it is released in this area.

Matthew Warner August 2, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I should add that it does have some mild violence and some bad language. So beware with the kids. But overall, it is a good conversation starter for these and related topics.

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