Yesterday in the BAFTAs in England, Brooklyn won outstanding British film of the year. It asks the question in Ireland and Brooklyn "Where do I belong? What can I make of my life?" CJ Johnson of ABC radio here in Australia writes, "[Brooklyn] lives or dies on Ronan's performance, and it definitely lives, with energy, beauty and grace. Hornby has done a brilliant job adapting Toibin's novel ... as have art departments [with] an Ireland and Brooklyn of the 1950s but also of the romantic mind."
I saw the flick last night and as the movie began with the typical introductory list of producers and film credits, I thought I was in the wrong theatre. Fox Searchlight, ok, I'm used to that. but the list included Wildgaze Films, Parallel Film Productions, the Irish Film Board, and Item 7. BBC Films was the first in the list. Wait, is this the right movie? Ireland? I thought it was going to be about Jewish people. Maybe I should have watched the trailer or read a review first. OK< I was wrong. Settle in and watch and see, Bob.
The contrast of homes is a continual theme in the movie. The Italian spaghetti-twirling home of Tony, the boarding house of Mrs Kehoe, the quiet village of Enniscorthy and the Lacey home itself, along with the contrast of churches and jobs in the two settings add such great color to the film. But I cannot get away from home vs home as a central theme.
Tony and Eilis encounter each other at an Irish dance at the parish church, and Tony admits to liking Irish girls better than Italian girls. They fall in love as would be predicted and I won't spoil the show for you about their relationship's continuity and ending. It's actually worth watching. Tony wants to marry Eilis especially before she goes back to Ireland for a quick visit. Here's the actual script:
You want to go home, I guess.
Yes. But I don’t know if I can.
If it’s money, then we can all help. I mean, the whole family. (Eilis blinks back more tears.)
And how would it be for you if I did go home?
(Tony shrugs, and then says, simply and sincerely)
I’d be afraid, every single day.
Afraid that I wouldn’t come back?
TONY Yeah. Home is home.
EILIS I’m not sure I have a home anymore.
That's the continual driving question in this brave young immigrant's mind. It's what makes me as an immigrant to Australia think. Where is home for me?
And what about you? I know friends who are selling house and shifting 200 km from the place they've lived for 35 years. I know people who have never left their neighbourhood and who now are moving to another state for whatever reasons. Tony said, "Yeah. Home is home." But for you, where is home?
Jim Farrell's home with his parents is contrasted with Mrs Kelly's home and the way they see what lies ahead is seriously in contrast.
I love these verses from the Scripture: Isaiah 32:18 Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, And in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places;
2 Kings 13:5 The LORD gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped from under the hand of the Arameans; and the sons of Israel lived in their tents as formerly.
Psalm 127:1-2 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Proverbs 3:33 The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, But He blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Find rest in Yeshua. Find life with God your father. Find eternity and the things of earth will grow strangely dim. Yeshua said, "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14.2) Heaven then, and heavenly people today... that's home for me.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24.15)