Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Sister’s Keeper - Review

My daughter and I went to see My Sister's Keeper when it opened Friday night. This is a very good movie. Well written story. Good acting. Bring Kleenex. I could hear the entire packed theater sniffling. I cried a lot. But it was not a sentimental Hallmark manipulated cry. I simply cried with the story, so engrossed in it I often wasn't even aware I was crying.

This movie is not what you think it is about when you read the description. The story begins with the voice of 11 year old Anna Fitzgerald describing how she had been genetically engineered to be a match for her older sister Kate, who has cancer so that she could first donate cord blood, then later white blood cells, bone marrow, and finally when our story takes place her sister needs her kidney. Anna announces she has had of enough giving away her body parts and seeks a lawyer to sue "medical emancipation" so that she has the right to decide about giving away her body parts.

But the movie is not really about the moral and ethical dilemma of such a situation. The movie is about how a family survives when one child is sick and a mother decides her only purpose in life is to keep one child alive.

There was a period of time just before my son was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and was having all kinds of problems and so I know the danger and the guilt of being all consumed by the present and pressing needs of one child to the point of neglect of the other.

The deeper question the movie brings out is -just how much control do we have and should we have? Kate has no control of her life or death. Anna fights for control of her body. Their mother fights so hard for control of the situation that she nearly loses everything. Where do we draw the line about control?

This Sundays' gospel is about two different people seeking Jesus' healing. Jairus the powerful man must give up control and even wait to receive Jesus' help. The woman with the flow of blood must take control of her life to seek Jesus' healing. There is a time to take control and fight for your life and those whom you love. And there is a time to let go. The difficulty is in deciding which time is which. That is what My Sister's Keeper is about.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a movie I should see. One of my children, as in infant, was in intensive care for a month, in a distant city. There are so many issues involved in dealing with that, emotional, physical, financial, care-giving, etc. I can't imagine how one would deal with it if it was endless. As aspect of control: I've come to the conclusion that people think if they know "why" that they will have control, but it doesn't matter. Letting go is so hard, but at least it brings us peace in the "why" area.