“One film can change a life forever.”

“One film can change a life forever.”
Thought for the Day

This weekend our Primary Counsellor, Dan, reflects on the impact film can have on us and suggests the enforced retreat to our homes is a great opportunity to share our favourite films with our families.

One film can change a life forever.

- Franco Zefferelli

In a documentary about his beautiful and moving 1976 film ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’, (about the lives of St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi) the Italian film director Franco Zefferelli commented on how a film can alter one’s life forever. Whether it be the rich and complex character development, incredibly sensuous scenery, sophisticated direction or a damn fine story, the poetic nature of film and cinema speaks to more than just an entertained ego in us; It has the capacity for spiritual influence and speaks to the soul of things in this complex life.

The Imaginal in film has the quality for us of being another world about which we know potentially nothing. We watch, even if for the hundredth time, not knowing what will resonate with us or what image or scene might stay with us into the night-time or next day and beyond.

The Last Kingdom image - Dan BlogRecently I have found myself, initially rather unconsciously, watching the Netflix multi-series ‘The Last Kingdom’ ; The story of a Saxon-Dane warrior, Uthred, in historical England. I’ve come to realise that the raw existentialism of the drama (life and death are close bedfellows in this historical drama) and the core theme of the struggle of dual belonging in Uhtred, expresses something deeply personal in me right now. When we are trying to understand our problems and our suffering, we often (consciously or otherwise) look for a story that will be revealing. Because film often reaches so far in its description and depiction of those universal ways in which human character and life plays itself out, it can be a rich soil in which to plant our self-understanding.

This weekend, as we align to a new temporary rhythm of enforced retreat to our home-spaces, remember the profound influence of films. Recall those films and cinematic scenes that have had a deep impact already upon you and look forward to discovering more of your life in film.

Perhaps it’s the right time to introduce a partner or child to a film that lives deep within you and might just pierce their marrow too.


The thought for the day is a short reflective writing relevant to the art of suffering well (enough) in difficult times, for parents and staff of Alice Smith. If it offers comfort amidst adversity, read the text and call it to mind when needed (even if just a short phrase from the larger text), allowing it to soak into the marrow of your bones and merge with your breath. Remember, we are all in this together...

Take good care, Dan