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Movie Review “We are Marshall”

Time was when the only occasion to read a movie review was right after it was released. The myriad of online sources, such as Netflix, makes any old movie available sometimes free, sometimes for a fee.

Dealing with Grief, Loss, Failure

I found “We are Marshall” free on Roku after working straight through for 10 hours on a nasty, complex project involving some evildoers who falsified information against a political candidate. The problem solved, I needed a “brain fast.” The review rating was 2 Plus. Mistake.

If we look at fiction of any kind, I’ll include singing and dancing here, we can learn. Art is a form of teaching we may not recognize while it is happening.

This movie is based on a real story from the 1970s. A small West Virginia college loses an entire team. The result is that every family, every business, every student is burdened not just with grief but waves of extended loss, frustration, failure and that covers everything they were, and do and now are no longer doing. Time is standing still. Their future is gone.

The head of the college advisers, for example, is asked to go home to his family after sitting in a local diner for several hours and he says, flatly, “I have no more family.” Shock flash freezes you in time and you cannot move forward. The movie pictures this perfectly which is why it appears to be slow. The process of dealing with grief can be very slow. That is part of the lesson.

The cure is an action plan

How can they move on? Enter star Matthew McConaughey as a new coach from another city working with only three depressed football players and a few remaining resistant staff. I won’t spoil the story with any more details. How the team, the town and the college all right themselves is the balance of the movie.

Winning over grief is everything

McConaughey is so quirky he blind-sides the college president and drags the students, new coaches and players, many unwillingly, into the future. One minute he is interrupting someone’s depression, another he climbs up on a roof to encourage a former staff member to return to the team. The former i.e. late coach preached that winning was everything. Now their foe is not another football team but their own emotional state.

Job’s Counselors

How easily we tell people – You got to start over, get a life, deal with the past, put a sock into, get involved. All the casual warnings and advice to the person just hanging on after a life-changing unexpected massive attack on the inner man. Death, especially violent unexpected death goes to the inner core and wounds parts you did not know were there.

Like Job’s counselors our efforts to minster life sound like death instead. We do this because we don’t know what to say. “Everything is going to be alright” is not a panacea. And in some cases, is not true.

Real, concrete, written out and planned goals actually do start the cure. Death is permanent, grief is not. It is a process and it must start somewhere.

You can’t “Move On” until you move

Yes, you will, you must start over but, you do not dishonor the past by making a new life.

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#grief #loss #failure #depression #death

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