Film Friday: The Bookshop

It is 1959, and Florence Green decides she would like to open a bookshop in a small village. Even if no one else likes the idea. She is determined and courageous and soldiers on against the odds, recruiting the help of twelve year old Christine, who claims she does not like reading…

Florence is befriended by Edmund, a reclusive widower, who loves reading and, when Florence starts sending him books, falls in love with Ray Bradbury’s novels; as well as with Florence herself. But he is the only one who loves her. She is pressured and tricked by others in the community who have their ideas set on one course of action and will not change their ways. She particularly falls foul of the powerful, if polite, Violet Gamut, who always gets her own way.

It’s one thing to have a vision, and Florence certainly has one, it’s quite another to keep soldiering against the odds and opposition. Joseph dreamt of leadership, and the community of his brothers were intent on quashing that. Ezekiel saw a body of people, nothing more than dry bones, resurrected and living again. Esther imagined setting her people free from tyranny but faced the risk of punishment and annihilation. Jesus looked at a bunch of ragtag, arguing disciples and saw a global community of caring, counter-cultural people. The Bible is full of people with vision, full of those who, like Florence Green, want to bring hope and change to their communities. At the end of the Bible a guy called John lies on his back, looks at the sky and sees an astonishing vision of a renewed earth, a place where tears and disappointment, frustration and fear are a distant memory. A place where all are free, and compassion and creativity are the currencies of the endless bright new day. We’re invited to join with these folks, a vital and unique part of God’s continuing, renewing jigsaw.

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