The Book of Life, directed by Jorge R. Gutiérrez. The movie is beautifully animated and has a number of positive messages. It is a colorful presentation of aspects of Mexican culture. I appreciated the presentation of the eternal importance of family. Some of the images in this movie are potentially frightening. There are also challenging thematic materials and violence.
The movie is available to purchase in a number of formats. The soundtrack is also pretty great.
Stand by Me – lyrics by Charles Albert Tindley. I love Seth Avett’s simple version of the gospel song.
Hang On by Guster. Many people struggle with mental illness – some mild, some severe. This song by Guster is about clinging to hope when all around is dark. If you feel like you can’t go on, hang on and seek appropriate medical or psychiatric care. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a website dedicated to dealing with mental health issues (mostly from a spiritual standpoint).
Lullaby by Peter Breinholt. The version sung with the One Voice Children’s Choir was recorded to raise awareness and money to help support Operation Underground Railroad, an organization dedicated to helping rescue enslaved children.
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful novels ever written. The setting is South Africa during Apartheid but the overarching theme is sin and redemption.
Here are a few quotes from the book I enjoy (to save myself time, all were taken from Goodreads):
“Pain and suffering, they are a secret. Kindness and love, they are a secret. But I have learned that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering…. I have never thought that a Christian would be free of suffering, umfundisi. For our Lord suffered. And I come to believe that he suffered, not to save us from suffering, but to teach us how to bear suffering. For he knew that there is no life without suffering.”
“The Judge does not make the law. It is people that make the law. Therefore if a law is unjust, and if the Judge judges according to the law, that is justice, even if it is not just.”
“I see only one hope for our country, and that is when white men and black men, desiring neither power nor money, but desiring only the good for their country, come together to work for it.
I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they [white men] are turned to loving, they will find we [black men] are turned to hating.”
“Cry, the beloved country, for the unborn child that’s the inheritor of our fear. Let him not love the earth too deeply. Let him not laugh too gladly when the water runs through his fingers, nor stand too silent when the setting sun makes red the veld with fire. Let him not be too moved when the birds of his land are singing. Nor give too much of his heart to a mountain or a valley. For fear will rob him if he gives too much.”