Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Cokeville Miracle is profoundly powerful

Movie:    The Cokeville Miracle

PG-13, 1 hour 34 minutes

Grade:    B+

In a Nutshell:   Remember Films and T.C. Christenson present an inspiring movie based on a true story about a miracle that happened in an elementary school in a small Wyoming community in 1986.  It’s a story of lost faith and found faith, the power of prayer, life after death, and that God really does watch over us.

Keep watching as the final credits roll, and you will experience something truly amazing.  The audience stays glued to their seats, watching pictures and video interviews of the children as grown-ups with their own families.  The theater is oddly silent, except for a few sniffles.  Rarely have I seen an audience react with such reverence and awe.  While not perfectly executed, this film is powerful and profound.

Uplifting Theme:
·         Just like the cross-stitched picture in the kitchen of the Hartley family says, “Life is fragile…handle with prayer.”
·         “We should recognize God’s hand when we see it.” – Claudia Hartley (played by Sarah Kent)
·         2 Kings 6:16   “Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them.”
·         When tragedy strikes, what do you see?

Things I liked:
·         True story.  That’s always a big plus for me.  Because it really happened, its impact is immense.
·         There is a surprising amount of humor during such tragedy.
·         The song the children sing at church at the end of the movie is a favorite Mormon Primary song called “A Child’s Prayer.”    There is a sweet video of it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb29gVgaHcY    You can also hear it sung by BYU’s award-winning Vocal Point at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE-p2nZmdso
·         Although the small community in Wyoming was predominantly Mormon, faithful people from all religions will be inspired by this film.

Things I didn’t like:
·         I would have cast the wife of wacko David Young differently.   She looked too squeaky clean, like she was the director’s Sunday School teacher who just got her teeth whitened.   Maybe this is too stereotyped, but I thought she should have looked more weak and victimized.
·         The script has some awkward lines that halt the flow of natural-sounding conversation.
·         Not that I wanted any children harmed in the making of the film, but the flames in the fire looked totally fake.
·         It feels like everyone is acting.  Some of the kids actually looked bored. The best actor in the film is Jasen Wade, who also starred in the beloved Mormon pioneer movie 17 Miracles .  Nathan Stevens does a good job as the unhinged David Young.



Funny lines:
·         “This will be our mark.” – David Young
 “It smells like somebody else just made his mark.” – Penny Young
·         “I just proved how I can die and come back to life.” – David
“That’s just fantastic.  He’s been working on that for hours.” – Doris Young
·         “What is the capital of Wyoming?” – Claudia
“Easy.  It’s W.” – Claudia’s son
·         “I was just looking at your guns…pretty cool guns…I was just wondering why you didn’t get an AK-47?” – Kam Wixom  (Anson Bagley)
“An AK-47?  That would be illegal.” – David Young
·         “Your breath smells like peaches.” – Hartley boy
“Well, I haven’t been eating any.”  - David Young
“Peaches is my dog.” – Hartley boy
·         “Hey lady, is this your first time kidnapping helpless little kids?” – Kam Wixom
·         “Do you have to get the kids all riled up at bedtime?” – Claudia
      “No, I don’t have to….but I want to.” - Ron

Interesting lines:
·         “It’s just too much of a coincidence to be a coincidence.”  - Ron Hartley
·         “Who else would care about us more than our own family?” –  Claudia when explaining that each of the children’s protecting angels were their very own ancestors.     To learn more about your own ancestors, check out www.FamilySearch.org 
·         “Hatred towards them is a dead-end journey.  It’s like drinking poison and hoping it’ll kill them.” -  Bishop John Teichert


Tips for Parents:
·         There was an audible gasp by all of the moms in the room when the mother left her child in the car and said “I’ll be right back.”   Never, EVER, leave your child in a car alone!
·         Young children may be frightened by the kidnap scenario with guns and a bomb.
-    One thing that is missing is foul language.  Thank you!


To learn more about some of the real people who experienced this remarkable event, begin here:  http://lds.net/blog/faith/belief/tragedy-triumph-talking-cokeville-bombing-survivor/



Other faith-building true stories:



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