Spring is Sprung and Movies Worth Seeing and Feeling

Posted on March 6, 2012 in Morton

This picture is from David’s Way, the memorial to David from his family, on the Katy Trail. The trail was a rail bed but now is a hike and bike trail.

Below shows more blossoms coming forth near the Trail.

A Separation is the best movie I have seen since Talk to Her a few years back. This story is about a dissolving marriage, tension between the two parents and a daughter, a father with Alzheimer’s at the root of a marital break up, and legal hassling in Muslim courts in Iran. The action goes from one tense moment to another, never letting up. It also shows insight into the characters whom you will relate to in your own life, or at least I did. The acting, dialogue, cinematography and the insight into life in Iran were simply wonderful. I went to Iran in 1975 on the first EDS mission to win business there. We had lots of EDSers there when the revolution struck. They captured and jailed the two top leaders of EDS, and in a tension-filled saga, EDS ended up taking them out of the country by force and stealth. This gave me insight into Iran and the people. Yet EDS people were thrilled to live there and integrate with the locals, which wasn’t done by EDS employees anywhere else except the Netherlands. The part that I learned the most from was the legal back and forth. I once dealt with the Chief Justice of Iran (Revolutionary), and found him to be pugnacious with a diffidence toward Westerners. This movie showed family courts and investigations in the religious court system. It was fascinating to compare that to the Jewish religious courts in Israel and with the Ultra Orthodox in the USA. See more reviews here.

Today I took Mother to see Undefeated and must say that I related to it even more. The movie isn’t quite as good as A Separation, but it is a fine movie for sure. There were two aspects that touched and connected with me. First, a football coach changed the lives of all the players through victory and defeat. I had a coach like that in high school who was rougher and tougher, but he changed my life and the lives of all the other players who survived and stayed on the team.

Second, our family works with an organization in South Dallas at a school that is exactly like the subject school in this movie. The area and demographic looks the same, with mostly fatherless families and high-stress challenges at every turn. Therefore, I was familiar with the anger in some of the players and the connection to the coach who brought them through as players AND as human beings, and gave them a chance for a successful life after high school. It was a tour de force of leadership and concern for the student athletes.

I loved this movie and hope you see it. One of the more subtle connections I had was with one of the starting tackles who had a partial ACL tear and couldn’t play for the last part of the season, until he came back for the last playoff game. I played tackle and was injured in preseason of my senior year. It was for real, and it was a football career stopper. The operation and recovery took 18 weeks in wheelchair and crutches with a full leg cast. I had expected to play in college at the Air Force Academy, because I was given an offer in my junior year. I never played a down after the injury. I understood what it was to be part of team and then an outsider. See the movie and you will understand this part when it is revealed. Football has left me with a rebuilt mouth/teeth, a double knee replacement and other physical maladies. But, I did learn what the coach in the movie talked about: character when you are defeated, staying with things, paying a price to perform well, discipline and more. Coach Turner was tough, and sometimes even mean, but I know he cared for each of us. I learned things that, later in life, allowed me to stay together when all things were coming apart. More information on the movie here.

Morton of Dallas

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the wise. Seek what they sought.”

Matsuo Basho