News Of The World

Blog 2154 – 09.08.2021

News Of The World

Of my now over twenty-one hundred and fifty posted blogs on many are tributes to movies that I have seen. Over the Labor Day weekend I was privileged to see not one, but three newly released movies, one in a movie theater that set a new Labor Day weekend box office record. And that is really saying something in this Covid-19 reality. Marvel’s new adventure movie Shang-Chi Legend Of The Ten Rings beat out the 2007 horror movie Halloween’s $30.6 million three day weekend total with and estimated $75.5 million. And it was definitely action packed and complete with flying dragons.

Yesterday, I shared another of the three new movies that I saw over the weekend with you – Cinderella which was released in movie theaters, but also streamed on Amazon Prime at the same time, where I saw it. HBO Max also did a simultaneous release of Tom Hanks new movie News Of The World over the weekend. Of the three movies, each wonderful in its own way, my personal favorite is the last one. Tom Hanks has so many great movies under his belt and with his fame and great success I am sure he is offered many projects. News Of The World is another one that he can be proud of as well.

The movie reminded me of Christian Bale’s 2017 movie Hostiles. It is a period piece that is set in post Civil War Texas. As a long time resident of the great state of Texas I was thrilled that the story covers much familiar ground for me starting in Wichita Falls, and including Dallas as Tom’s character, a reader of news, takes a twice orphaned young girl home to all the surviving extended family she has left near San Antonio his home town that he has not returned to since just after the war.

I will not spoil the movie for you by revealing too much of the story just to say that their weeks long journey across the wilds of a war torn state where people of age must carry loyalty oath papers and are forbidden to carry hand guns is a Texas far different than the one I have known for almost fifty years. Texans without handguns, I am one of the few I know, and I only surrendered mine about ten years ago as a personal choice. I figured one less armed white male in the great state of Texas was probably a good thing. Few Christians in Texas would agree with me and another David that God’s rod and staff are a greater comfort to me than a pistol in my pocket.

Tom’s character in the movie as the title implies reads the news of the world from town to town. He tells the girl that he used to print newspapers but that the war changed all that. He can still read the newspapers and does to everyone willing to pay a dime to hear the stories. One of those stories ends up saving his and the little girl Johanna’s life. Captain Kidd, Tom’s character, carries a scatter gun loaded with bird shot, the only firearm he is allowed by law, as a former rebel, to carry. Johanna, who speaks no English, only Kiowa and a few words of remembered German from her first family, wisely saves their lives earlier by emptying out the bird shot in his shells and replacing it with coins collected from his last reading. She happily goes around to the gathered crowds before Captain Kidds begins to read holding up a can and saying “dime aye.” Those dimes in the shells turn that scatter gun back into a deadly weapon.

So, yes, there is violence in the movie, violence killed her parents, and violence took her new set of parents too. Johanna is much affected by the violence in her life as we all are, but as one of my favorite poems concludes, “…love and I with the will to win, we drew a circle that took him in.” This tragic little girl will win your heart as she does Captain Kidd’s.

See for yourself.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

All That We Let In

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