The recent film The Impossible is based on the true events of one rather unfortunate, but equally very lucky, family, in the tsunami in 2004 in Thailand. Not only was it the most enthralling and moving film I’ve seen for a long time, but it brought back memories of the views of people back in the UK at the time.
As a sixth-former going back to school after Christmas (in typical ungrateful teenage fashion), having though little about the events of boxing day in Thailand (again, in typical teenage fashion), we were treated to a special assembly about the disaster. The basis of the assembly was: God saved this particular group of Christians by not letting the water reach their newly built church, where they were sheltering. So: God lets other people die, but saves a particular group of Christians.
Of course, that makes perfect sense. God saves his people (though, not the Christians who happened to be closer to the sea) and lets the rest die. This obviously affected me enough to be able to remember it still. Why would an interfering God, in the view portrayed in this assembly, let so many die and yet choose to save certain others? Why should any one human be priveleged over another?
The Impossible is, rather, a clear portrayal that the Tsunami hits anyone that happens to get in its way. In my view it is not a discriminate action of an (omni-benevolent?!) creator, but the spurious act of nature.
The film highlights benevolent actions of certain characters in helping others to live, to find those they were with, and to communicate with their families elsewhere.
The most moving part of the film, for me at least, was when the young lad who had found his mother and helped another young boy met him again in the hospital, but no words were said, and the boy moved on with an older male relative before any attempt at communication could be made. How often do we assist someone, not to be thanked, not for their friendship, not for the adulation, but for the sheer want of helping them?