Film Friday – Philomena

In the movie Philomena Martin Sixsmith and Philomena Lee team up to try and discover what became of her son, born fifty years earlier and given up for adoption. Philomena and Sixsmith have both had difficult lives, Martin Sixsmith is recovering after losing his job over an email.

Both characters have experienced difficult things, but the two have come out of those experiences as quite different people. In one key scene Philomena wants to express forgiveness but Martin Sixsmith wants to take another road. Philomena turns to him and says, ‘It must be so exhausting being you.’

Jesus tells a story about a person who is forgiven a huge debt. (Matthew 18 vv 21-34) That person then refuses to forgive someone who owes them just a tiny amount. Jesus seems to be suggesting that knowing we are forgiven should make us more forgiving. Not necessarily easy and not ‘the way’ in our age of blame. When Jesus is denied the chance to ceremonially wash (and is thereby insulted) in a Pharisee’s house he is rescued by a ‘fallen woman’ who helps him in her own humble way. Jesus tells the Pharisee that this woman has a lot of compassion to give because she has received a lot of compassion herself. One feeds the other. (Luke 7 vv 39-47)

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