The film New Hope released in 2012 deals with the aftermath of teen suicide. It boldly tells a story about the depths of guilt and hurt in the lives of those affected by this tragedy.
Main character Michael and his family moved to a small town called New Hope. Being the son of a preacher, he is already accustomed to moving from place to place. What bothers him this time is adjusting to his new school in his senior year. Throughout the film, Michael showed us what it is like being a preacher’s son. Like any other teen, he confronts a dilemma of fitting in. The difference is that he valued his parents’ upbringing. He didn’t fight back his antagonist Lucas when he could. He didn’t take advantage of his liking for Jasmine when she was still feeling broken after losing her long-time boyfriend Chase who committed suicide a year ago.
This film has drawn its power to a commendable script. There were several noteworthy scenes. The preacher’s counseling session with Chase’s parents showed us grieving from their perspective. They showed how a mother’s love clings to guilt for as long as she could and a father who contains his hurt so he could keep his sanity day by day. These scenes reflect how each parent wants to get involved in our lives. The same goes with our heavenly Father God who can take our anguish so we don’t wallow in our sorrow for too long. We need to only ask and pray that He guides our way.
Lucas’ character is also powerful in this story. He used his ego to cover up his deep hurt for losing his brother Chase. Lucas pushed himself to become the star player in his school’s basketball team. He bullied Michael as a façade because he couldn’t admit to anyone he is feeling empty inside, not even his parents.
Another noteworthy scene was when he released his anger on a tree. He bought a handful of baseball bats and used each one to hit the tree. We get to feel the hurt he has and releasing it alone than hurting other people. Later on, Lucas admitted to Michael he feels he didn’t amount to anything. Michael reminded him about winning the championship game. He also mentioned not giving up on Lucas.
There were several nuggets of lessons in this film. It is suitable for teens as well as parents. It teaches us about bullying and where it is coming from. By having the right mindset to care for a bully and parental guidance to teens. We can also do it by reaching out to other people. And encouraging one another that God will guide us through no matter how difficult the trials that we encounter in our personal lives. Filling our hearts with God’s love will set us free from past hurts so we can move forward to a hopeful tomorrow.
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