Metaphysics in the movies

My grandchildren are fans of the LEGO movie and have watched it numerous times. Color me surprised (I haven’t seen it yet,…) when I saw it listed as one of 2 metaphysical movies (or movies with a metaphysical message) of note from 2014. Earlier this evening I stumbled upon another movie that I think should make the list for 2015.

The film – A Little Princess – was adapted from a 1905 children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett and while it strays from the original plot somewhat, it is delightful, uplifting and will make the hardest of hearts smile with its happy ending. The message that we become what we think about is abundantly clear in both the positive and the negative.

Sara is a child left at a boarding house while her father fights in WWI. She grew up in India with her doting and loving father who allowed her to dream big, and encouraged her to use her imagination. The colorful influence of the Hindu culture she was immersed in from birth helps Sara to tell spell-binding stories to her friends at her new school. Unfortunately for Sara, her likability and intelligence quickly incur the wrath of the bitter headmistress, Miss Minchin who is clearly jealous of the child’s privileged upbringing and happy spirit.

In the movie version, which differs from the book, Sara’s father is listed as Missing in Action in the war, and Sara is rendered penniless.  This allows the mean-spirited headmistress to banish her to the attic with the other servant girl to “work for her room and board“.

Although she misses her father terribly and is sad at her sudden change of fortune, Sara’s indomitable spirit and the lessons she learned as a child pull her through. Sara believes  herself to be a princess; believes that  life is fun and filled with love, happiness and smiles. Miss Minchin believes (as evidenced in a scene where she verbalizes this, “speaking her word” as Florence Scovel Shinn would say) that life is hard and bitter and that it’s her job to teach children this fact.

At the end of the movie, we see that knowing the truth, and holding on to that truth – regardless of the dire circumstances that may appear – is the path to living the life that we want.

I highly recommend this movie, and at 1-hour and 37-minutes, it can easily be split into a month of metaphysical movie time for youth programs in CSL or Unity centers and churches.



Little Princess


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