A couple days ago we were privileged to watch the classic film called "Anne of Green Gables". This film, based on the original novel by Lucy Maud Montgomery was an instant favorite after being produced. Set back in time to the mid 1800's, it beautifully portrays life on Prince Edward Island - one of the most beautiful places in Canada. But it does much more than that. It digs into the very heart of humanity, bringing out those qualities that are most important in our lives; strong friendships, community, and loyalty to one's family.
Lucy Montgomery, commonly called Maud by her family and friends, spent the first few years of her life as a lonely orphan living with stern grandparents in there house named Green Gables. It was during these years of loneliness that she developed her keen imagination, which provided a good escape from the pressures of being a lonely, unwanted orphan. She would also imagine friends with lives much like her own, one of which was a young orphan girl she affectionately named Anne.
Most of what she wrote about Anne was based on her own life story, weaving the struggles she had encountered in her own life into this young girl that everyone could relate to. And so was birthed the story "Anne of Green Gables", a tale that would weave a touching and romantic story into one that dug into the very foundation of our civilization: the strong ties between family and friends.
But, if you wanted to hear all about the film and its history, you can go to their website and read up on it yourself. What I wanted to do was share the lessons I gleaned from the film. Some films are made to pack a punch; when you're done watching, you understand the message and use it to become a better person. This one, on the other hand, is a simple story that portrays early life on Prince Edward Island interwoven with the struggles a young orphan girl faced. It's one of those films that takes you back to yesteryear, portraying life in a powerful way. And it's mainly for that reason I enjoy this film so much. I can see Anne struggling through the same things I have to deal with in my own life. Throughout her life she was forced to face hardships brought upon her by others. But instead of becoming bitter, she bravely faced her problems; listening to the wise counsel of her teacher and others. Recently, one of the hosts on "Homeschool Dropouts", a documentary produced by the Botkin children, said a powerful statement that I really enjoyed: "If you blame the way you are upon your circumstances, you blame the God who placed you in those circumstances."
The other thing I really enjoyed about this film was the strong sentiment towards simple country living. At one point when asked how she'd like the life of the rich, she stated, "I'd like it for awhile; but in the end, I'd still prefer the sound of the wind in the firs across the brook more than the tinkling of silver." Standing on the red cliffs of Prince Edward Island, she stood gazing out over the crimson ocean while the sun slipped gently below the horizon. Turning to her bosom friend, she said, "You know something Diana? We are rich! We have 16 years to our credit, and we both have wonderful imaginations! We should be as happy as queens." Looking out across the golden panorama before her, she continued her spoken reverie. "Look at that. You couldn't enjoy its loveliness anymore if you had ropes of diamonds." How right she was!
Turning to the production side, I really enjoyed the attention to detail that Sullivan Entertainment put into the film. For all the period costumes, as well as the sets and environment, it looked very much like what Lucy Montgomery would have seen back in her day. The actors also did a very good job portraying the characters. As is the case when you make a film on a widely read story, the readers have already formed ideas of who the main characters look like. Over the period of a year, more than 3,000 actors auditioned for Anne's part. Talk about tough competition! Their final choice, Megan Follows, did a beautiful job at portraying Anne. The rest of the cast did the same. Their dedication to the final product was apparent in their every action. As I watched the film, I was able to place myself in the story; re-viewing life through the eyes of a young, unwanted orphan girl.
Even though "Anne of Green Gables" is a wonderful film that I'd encourage anyone to watch, it is still not void of problems that all secular films have. But I'll cover more of that in a later post.