Tuesday, September 06, 2005

"Shawshank Redemption": Freedom Follows Beauty

In the film The Shawshank Redemption, Ellis Boyd "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman) tells the story of Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins)—a young, successful banker wrongly convicted of murdering his wife in 1947 and sentenced to two consecutive life terms at Shawshank Prison.

At one point in the film, Dufresne is given the task of sorting through a whole load of classical records that were donated to the prison. In the process he finds and plays a beautiful operatic piece, even though it's against prison regulations. The guard hears him and asks what is happening. Dufresne locks himself in to the sound booth and switches on the PA system that reaches the whole prison—the cells, the yard, and the hospital. He plays the music full blast through the speakers. Everyone in the whole prison stops what they are doing and listens.

At this point Morgan Freeman comments:

I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don't want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I'd like to think they were singing about something so beautiful it can't be expressed in words. It makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you those voices soared. Higher and farther than anyone in the great place dared to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away. And for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

Elapsed Time: 01:02:00 to 01:05:00

Citation: The Shawshank Redemption (Castle Rock, 1994); based on the short novel Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King, directed by Frank Darabont; submitted by Andy Scarcliffe, Edinburgh, Scotland

Source: Preaching Today

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