By this point you probably all know that TIFF has been in town for the last week and a half. Celebs on every corner, autograph hounds chasing down our fav Canadian heartthrob Ryan Gosling, and even a little (and totally false) Madonna vs. TIFF volunteers controversy.
Our own founder Janet Lewis was lucky enough to get in on a little of the TIFF action. She went to see “Machine Gun Preacher”, starring none other then Gerard Butler. After the last movie I saw with him, the dud otherwise known as “The Bounty Hunter,” I was a little skeptical. I really do wish I could get those 2 hours of my life back. But I thought I’d give Gerard the benefit of the doubt and give MGP a chance.
Here’a a little inside scoop from Janet
“It was honestly an amazing story. The director and all the cast were there on stage and Sam – who the story is about was sporting, jeans, short sleeve shirt and leather Harley jacket. He mentioned that people tried to get him to dress up for the event but he felt that wasn’t really him and this was as good as it gets.
The movie itself was sad at times as it showed what was happening in northern Uganda and Sudan but it also showcased the strength of one man’s passion to follow his dream to try to help save as many children as he could. His own life was difficult and he made so many sacrifices to stay committed to saving these children. A definite must see and an inspiration to everyone to do what they can to help those who might need a little extra support. I can see this one winning some major awards. At the end of the video they showed some real life footage of Sam there – which was a great add to the entire experience. It reminded the audience that the film was more then just a film – it’s the true story of a man’s struggle. Very moving and it received a standing ovation at the end of the movie... which I had never seen before so very exciting. Sex symbol Gerard Butler was amazing in this role – he definitely did justice to Sam as a man and the trials and tribulations that he went through. “
After hearing her glowing review of it, I decided I needed to do a little extra research.
IMBD’s description of the film is: “The story of Sam Childers, a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers.”
While TIFF is a week full of celebrity, champagne and fancy parties, it’s amazing when a film like this asks us to look at how much we have in our own lives. I’ll admit as I looked at some of the TIFF images being posted on Twitter, I couldn’t help but lament all the fancy dresses and cars I don’t have. But you know what I do have…a computer, a house, a pretty good cardigan collection, food on the table every day, amazing friends, freedom, and goodness I could go on for hours. Life is pretty darn good and I really don’t have much to complain about.
So thank you Gerard Butler & co for reminding me of that! And encouraging me to look for ways to help those who might be going through a rough time and maybe can’t help themselves. Sure, I might not be able to do what Sam did in the film, but every little change does make a difference. Every movement starts with something seemingly small.
Here’s the trailer for all of you who are interested. It’s got a rad cast, a talented director, and an inspiring story….recipe for success? I think so! Looks like I’ll have to add this to my list of films to watch after following TIFF. So far I want to see:
- The Oranges
- The Ides of March
- The Machine Gun Preacher
- The Descendants - here's a really fun and interesting interview with Shailene Woodley that got me intrigued
Any other TIFF films you guys would recommend?