|‘Courageous’ takes you back in time|
|Friday, 04 May 2012 00:00|
Director: Alex Kendrick
Running time: 126 minutes
Type of film: Inspirational drama
Age restriction: 12
Reviewed by Prof Joel White
I am determined to find out how the courage (and the funds) were available for the making of this film.
Running entirely in the opposite direction from the route which Hollywood has been carving out for itself over at least the past decade, the film “Courageous” is both a tribute and a verification to those early cinema pioneers and their belief that cinema could serve to elevate morality at the same time that it entertains.
For those who see the film, in whatever format, it is of great importance to be aware and to take into account that it is set in the American State of Georgia, in the Deep South, where many there believe that the Civil War, fought over the question of slavery in the late 19th century as well as the inalienable right of blacks to be full American citizens, is still to be considered unfinished. The population of 10 million Georgians is 70 percent white, 30 percent black.
To typecast the film, we must denominate it a police action film into which a religious fervour has penetrated.
The audience becomes deeply involved with a coterie of six of the officers of the Sheriff’s Department of Dougherty County. A highly recommended and qualified black officer, Nathan, has been happily welcomed into one of the teams.
For me a highly important truth if it is one, is the easily managed bi-racial nature of the force as a whole and the unit upon which we are focused in particular.
To use a New York police expression, “push comes to shove” when one of the team’s well-liked white officers is found to “have his hand in the till.” From the drugs confiscated from street peddlers he has, for some time, been siphoning off a percentage for re-sale. And is imprisoned.
This development has a shocking effect on the other members of this tight knit unit.
Particularly on its oldest members, Allan, who has just lost a young daughter in a traffic accident. This tragedy forces him to consider the poor relation he has with his remaining child, a teen age boy.
The film’s handling of the remedial work done on this father-son relationship tender as well as realistic is by itself worth seeing the film.
But there are more than a dozen such reasons for everyone to see this film. It is, for me, a miracle that Hollywood was able to produce it.