Sunday, October 26, 2008

Movie Therapy

Everyone was excited about our movie day (see the post under this one for a synopsis of the movie we watched, Taare Zameen Par).

Look at JOSEPH!!!!! (Joseph's on the right, watching the movie with Jeremiah). Look at his scalp, his skin, and the look on his face!


Here's everyone's darling Rebekah, looking wonderful.
Daniel is such a handsome young man, isn't he? He was so fascinated with the movie--by the end, he was inches from it. Wish he could express what was going on in his mind as he watched.
Here's our special teacher at Victory Home, helping Kumar eat his chips (yes, we do eat more than just chips at Covenant Homes). Watching TZP was her 'homework', because it's so full of great ideas. She was really inspired. I know she loves the children so much.
The kids kept inching closer and closer throughout the movie. Look at Noah in his new wheelchair! Those of you who know Josh, don't you think he needs of these, too? Seventeen thousand rupees ($400)--spread the word!

A scene from the movie where Ishaan's art teacher (and savior) Mr. Nikumbh first introduces himself to Ishaan's class at boarding school. He got all the kids up and dancing....

including our kids!!!! Here's a video of the children just starting to dance:


video

It always starts with Christina (dancing is her gift),
but then when Santosh gets into it with his wild, goofy dancing, all heaven breaks loose (I was enjoying it too much to get a picture). Here's Isaac having a great time dancing:


The movie touched some sensitive topics, and I wasn't sure how that would affect the children, but I just kept praying and inviting the Holy Spirit to do His work.
ISSUES BROUGHT OUT BY THE MOVIE
Loss & Separation
In one scene, the night Ishaan's dad informs him that he's headed for boarding school, Ishaan dreams that he and his mother are in a crowded train station. He gets bumped and loses hold of her hand, and she doesn't notice. She boards the train without him and it takes off. He is screaming for her but can't get to her through the crowd of people . She realizes he isn't with her and panics. Holds out her hand for him to jump, but he can't catch up.
I had forgotten that that scene was in there, but as I watched it, my heart started to pound, realizing that some of our children may have experienced the terror of being left in a bus or train station and not being able to find their parents. What a horrifying feeling.
Abuse
Ishaan's dad is ashamed of his son's poor performance in school and difficulty adjusting in life. He yells at, slaps, intimidates, and threatens Ishaan. Some of our children may have experienced similar things (or much, much worse) at the hands of those who were supposed to love them unconditionally.
Abandonment
Ishaan's father is still angry with him when they leave Ishaan at boarding school. As his family drives away, Ishaan's dad is glowering, but his mother and brother are in tears. Each of our children was abandoned and must have identified with Ishaan as they watched the scene unfold.
Here's an excerpt of the song that plays as Ishaan cries for his mother at boarding school:
I've never told you
How scared I am of the dark
I've never told you
How much I care for you
But you know, don't you, Ma?
You know everything, my Ma.
Don't leave me alone in crowds
I'll lose my way back home
Don't send me to places far away
Am I so bad, Ma?
Am I so bad, my Ma?
Humiliation, Ridicule, & School Failure
Ishaan's teachers and fellow students laugh at and make fun of Ishaan, calling him 'idiot' and 'crazy'. Some of our children may have experienced that. Six of our children are in mainstream schools, and four of these were rejected by at least one of the private schools we initially enrolled them in. That has to hurt. Actually, at one point, following a yelling scene with Ishaan's dad and a tough school scene, Christopher told me, "I'm dizzy. I might have a seizure." He opted not to go lie down, and within a few minutes, the movie turned a corner and so did he (he's the one dancing in front in the video). He was on my lap a lot throughout the movie.
HEALING
I was happy to see that throughout the movie, my lap was never empty. One by one, the children came and sat with me, feeding me snacks and being fed by my hand, snuggling together. In particular, the children with more cognitive understanding were the ones who seemed in most need of reassurance. I let them know how much we love them.
The climate in which they watched the movie was a wonderful one--surrounded by people whom they love and are loved by, people who only want the best for them.
Music and dancing always helps the kids heal, and I was thrilled to see that without any prompting they jumped up and began to dance. Mr. Nikumbh's entry into the movie was the turning point, bringing LIFE into Ishaan's story. You could feel a huge change in the atmosphere, as our children entered into the joy.
After the movie was over, we played the dance scene several times and let the children fully enjoy it.
TULIPS SCHOOL
The scene that tends to make me cry the most is the program at Mr. Nikumbh's special school, Tulips. The children are dressed up in fancy costumes and wave banners. The theme is "A Rainbow." They are loving life, themselves, and each other, and are on stage being fully enjoyed by their parents and teachers. Following the program, the children's parents come forward and scoop the children up to embrace them. I grieve for our children because their parents could never accept them for who they are and enjoy them. I grieve for the 31 families who have lost these children!
Will end this post with an excerpt from the song the Tulips children danced to and the theme song of the movie:

Look at them, like fresh drops of dew
Nestled in the palms of leaves
Gifts of the heavens,
Stretching and turning, slipping and sliding,
Like delicate pearls glinting with laughter
Let us not lose these stars on earth.
Like sunshine on a winter's day
Bathes the courtyard in gold,
They banish darkness from our hearts
And warm us to the core
Let us not lose these stars on earth.

2 comments:

recoveringnoah said...

Okay. I HAVE to rent this movie ASAP. I remember when it came out and so many people recommended it. Our Noah loves Kaho Naa Pyar Hai. When he was a baby, the soundtrack was the only thing that would calm him down. We had to have copies everywhere - the car, the house, his therapy place, you name it.

Glad the kids liked the movie!

Leslie :-)

Anonymous said...

Caroline found it at one of her Indian merchants. I watched it a week or two ago and cried and cried and cried!!! sooooooo good!
Julie

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