do NOT watch this film

Last year, ABC TV screened a film by Richard Curtis (you know: Four Weddings & a Funeral, Love Actually, Notting Hill, etc, etc…), who, intriguingly, describes it as the film he is “most proud of”. I don’t think it did well at the box office.
The film – “The Girl in the Cafe” starring a favourite of ours, Bill Nighy, is a poignant, gentle, achingly lovely story about an encounter between a middle-aged civil servant working for the British Chancellor of the Exchequer and an enigmatic young woman who lives with great personal pain.
Alright so far, and enough to lull one into a false sense of security as the film unfolds with all the expected Curtis humour and pathos.
Don’t watch this film! It will sneak up on you and grab you where it hurst the most. If you are a person of conscience, you will either end up changing things about the way you live your life (maybe small things, maybe huge areas of your life), or you will have to live with your conscience ever after. You have been warned.
Tamara bought me the DVD as a gift, knowing how much the first viewing of the film meant to me. I have just (foolishly) watched it again during some precious time alone.
I have tried to do my little bit over more than a decade to make a difference both as a volunteer and in a paid capacity involved in the Jubilee 2000 and Millenium Development Goals projects and refugee resettlement. I’ve organised public events; done media work; chased signatures for petitions; addressed high school and university groups, churches and service clubs; made financial donations and sacrifices; personally petitioned politicians; publicly picketed politicians; listened to bloody-minded individuals (as well as well-meaning individuals) who have wanted to ‘set me straight’; encouraged and supported others of like-mind as they did their bit; helped out individuals in extreme poverty as best I could, advocating for them, and on occasion doing back-breaking practical, physical, and sometimes personally dangerous things to help out.
Yet, still…click your fingers every three seconds. Listen to the cadence. A child dies of preventable causes with each click.
Don’t watch this beautiful, powerful, heart-rending little film unless you don’t mind never being the same again.

~ by Garry on October 28, 2007.

8 Responses to “do NOT watch this film”

  1. Garry, many thanks for that entry…. reading it I got goosebumps because I have seen the movie and realised I should watch it again …soon!!
    Thanks also for having Adrian & the girls this weekend; they had a great time and it was very helpful on this end. Hope to see you all soon. Anny

  2. It was our pleasure…Adrian was his usual naughty self, but the girls were very grown-up – ie., they acted their age.
    (Actually, Adrian did too. Is he quite well?)
    And, yes, thanks for the comment. I admire the capacity of people like Curtis (who, I’m told, normally gives 6 months out of every 2 years to work for a charity). I am in awe of an artist like him who has the ability to make a contribution to a more just, compassionate world through their art.
    sighing wistfully

  3. I bought a copy of this video this year, watched it with our group and passed it onto some of the small groups from my old church days at Whitford…challenging stuff…ugly stuff!

  4. I MUST get it! Connie

  5. Okay, I hope your purpose of this post is to make people watch it because you know that’s all it does right?

  6. yep…xactly

  7. Gosh … I watched it but can’t remember the ending – what does that mean ?

  8. I don’t know what it means Vicky! 🙂
    All I know is the story changed my life a little bit. Curtis says he was trying to encourage us to see that one person can a make a difference. I just think it is such a beautiful, gently powerful film with great humour, pain and humanity.
    Thanks for dropping by.

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