Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Movie Review - Nativity

OK. I know it's not Christmas. However, while looking for a film to watch with my 9 year-old I came across this and I was pleasantly surprised!

Nativity is the story of a frustrated actor turned primary school teacher. After his girlfriend lives him around Christmas time he becomes miserable and starts to detest Christmas. When he is entrusted with producing the annual school Nativity, he can only thing he's in hell. Things take a turn for the worse when his air-headed assistant overhears a conversation where he tells someone, as a joke, that Hollywood is coming to watch the play and he can't bring himself to tell the truth to the over excited children. Not to mention that the school is not considered to be the best in the area and the kids a generically thought of as not bright. 

Let’s get something straight... Nativity is a comedy film. And like any comedy it is ridiculously far-fetched. For anyone working with children certain scenes could even be cringeworthy. For one, there is no way the security personnel in a British Airport would let a single adult male fly with two children that are clearly not his. At least, I most certainly hope not!!! 

Once you get over the "as if(s)" and "fat change(s)" there is actually a couple of really good messages embedded in this movie. The first is that sometimes we do not put enough faith in our children and by doing so we restrict them to think of themselves as unable. In reality, young children can just about do anything. They have no fear, no inhibitions, no ability to over think or analyze things. That is when we should be telling them they can do anything and allowing them to try as many different things as possible. 

One thing I learned while working with children is that everyone always learns something, they just learn in different ways. It's up to us, adults, parents, children workers, to teach it in a way they can digest it. Learning should also be fun, not only for children, but also for adults.

The second thing I thought was quite interesting is the fact that adults talk themselves into nothingness because of stress, pressure or bad experiences. We become sarcastic and ill tempered and by doing so we fail to see the beauty on the simplest things.

My daughter used to come back from school every day with her hands full of drawings and paraphernalia for me. I always saw it as something destined for the bin. Then I realized: she doesn't have any money. She can't go and buy something to give me. The little drawings and artwork is proof that she thinks of me when she's away at school. That is the hard earned produce of her work and she's giving it to me. (Can you hear the violin playing in the background? I think I'm going to cry.)

Every once in a while adults need a reminder that sometimes is not about the big things, but the little ones. We just need to learn to be a little more childlike and allow ourselves to see them.

Film Rating: ****
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