Monday, September 22, 2008

Praying with Lior

What a way to return to the movies! I have not seen a movie outside my home since Caden was born. Well, I did try to take him to a couple of those free Family Day shows that various cineplexes offered over the summer but we never lasted more than 20 minutes and I don't count the cartoons they showed as "going to the movies" anyway.

Praying with Lior is a must-see. The documentary follows a 13-year-old boy with Down syndrome through his bar mitzvah. Its themes however cross all religions and will really make you ponder the meaning of faith, prayer and ritual. It will make you think about community, tolerance, inclusion and family. It's so beautiful and moving I'm welling up again just writing about it. I was emotionally exhausted after seeing it and am still thinking about its storyline today. I love when a film has the power to do that to a viewer.

At various points I was sobbing with joy, sadness, pride, despair, even simultaneously with laughter. Yes, I was sobbing. It was embarrassing the amount of saltwater rolling off my face. Fortunately snacks had been provided beforehand because all I had to catch my tears with was a cocktail napkin I'd shoved into my empty Dixie cup. Unfortunately it was smeared with the frosting off a chocolate cookie which blended rather well with my mascara to create an extreme work of art on my face. At least I was not boohooing alone. The Tank was choked up. I heard sniffles and noses being blown everywhere. I saw hands wiping cheeks from the silhouettes seated in the rows before us. The lady directly in front of us even crumpled onto a neighboring shoulder (hopefully it was someone she knew). No one was unaffected.

We had the added bonus of a Q and A session with the filmmaker directly afterwards which was equally amazing. I loved the questions that emerged and the dialogue the film was creating. Quite an impressive night.

There's a trailer on the website as well as a schedule of screenings. The DVD isn't out yet so I strongly suggest attending one of these screenings if it's in your neck of the woods. Don't forget your Kleenex.

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