The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, October 28, 2011

You must remember this...

One of the most beloved films of all time is "Casablanca"--admired, analyzed, emulated. A war story, a love story, a musical, and most importantly, the story of a resurrected spirit. "Rick" (Humphrey Bogart) was a freedom fighter who fell in love and was betrayed. He falls into a deep depression, in which nothing matters, and his normal human emotions are scrambled. But when his lady love Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) returns to his life, his false image (happy, successful, romantic) is shattered to reveal the wounded, angry soul within. Only when he discovers that not only does she love him, but was more worthy of his love than he could have imagined (her courage and commitment matches his own!) does anger and hate leave him, love fills his heart, and he becomes a greater hero than he has ever been, capable of inspiring others (Claude Rains, as the corrupt Inspector Renault) to courage as well.

A wonderful film, one of the best "popular entertainments" ever, and it has touched generations because it speaks truth: our actions, beliefs,goals and values must all be in alignment, or we limp through life as broken souls. We must seek to know ourselves deeply, more deeply, every day. To make choices based on our adult values, not the screaming of our "needy wounded abandoned child." To chose love that lifts us up and inspires us to be the very best we can be, and not simple fleshly pleasures or co-dependency. "Casablanca" is a story of resurrection, of awakening, of two mature souls seeing, in each other that their ego needs "don't amount to a hill of beans in this world."

Wow. THAT is the way to write an "entertainment."

That is the way to construct a life.

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