July has arrived and I thought it was about darned time for another blog posting. Since it is only 3 days until our nation’s birthday celebration, the no-brainer post would have been patriotic themed movies. Been there, done that…it’s so last year!! (see my July 01, 2008 posting for patriotic film suggestions). Instead I started thinking about what the 4th of July means to me. Words like food and fireworks came to mind…but mainly I think about freedom. That, after all, is what the 4th of July signing of our Declaration of Independence ultimately gave us. Here are a few films about people (and chickens!) and their quest for freedom:
Defiance (DVD): The tagline for this film is: Freedom begins with an act of defiance! Or maybe they should have said keeping your freedom. This film follows three Polish Jewish brothers in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe who escape into the Belarussian forests. Two of the brothers decide to fight for their freedom in different ways. One joins the Russian partisans and the other stays behind to help the growing population of Jews that have joined them in the forest to escape the Germans.
Wind that Shakes the Barley (DVD): Winner of the PALME D'OR at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, this film is also about two brothers who are fighting for their freedom in 1920’s Ireland. Damien is a medical student, while his brother Teddy is fighting for Ireland’s freedom from the British. After witnessing atrocities, Damien decides to join his brother’s resistance group. Although agreements are made to stop the violence, the brothers ultimately have their loyalties put to the test.
Chicken Run (DVD): Chicken Run, from the creator’s of Wallace and Gromit, is a comedy escape drama set on a sinister Yorkshire chicken farm in 1950's England. Ginger is one of the chickens and she desperately wants her freedom. Unfortunately she is constantly being held back by her incompetent fellow chickens. One night, while bemoaning her fate in the barnyard, a rooster flies in over the fence. The rooster, Rocky Rhodes, is a cocky American who enjoys freedom - in fact; he was escaping from a circus when he landed in her barnyard. The film follows Rocky and Ginger, who yearn for freedom and their daring 'prisoner of war' style escape.
Shawshank Redemption (DVD): In 1946, a banker named Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) is convicted of a double murder, even though he stubbornly proclaims his innocence. He's sentenced to a life term at the Shawshank State Prison in Maine, where he meets another lifer, Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman). Through all the harsh times at the prison, Andy never loses hope and strives to make his ultimate dream of freedom come true.
Let Freedom Ring!
Have a great Independence Day!