Film Friday Classic: A Bronx Tale

Local gangster Sonny rules the streets and wants to keep everyone on his pay list. He offers Lorenzo a job, but the law-abiding father unexpectedly turns it down. Lorenzo drives buses for an honest living and refuses to be sucked into the life of darkness. However his young son Calogero is befriended by Sonny and starts earning money by helping him out.
(Caution – this clip contains a couple of instances of very bad language. But I think it’s a beautiful example of a father standing up against evil and caring for his family.)

Lorenzo refuses to give in to the pressure from Sonny, though the money would make a big difference to him and his family. He doesn’t want that kind of cash and believes in integrity, honesty and being a good father. Calogero believes that everyone loves local tough guy Sonny, but Lorenzo knows that it is not love but fear. He knows that true love cannot be bought by self-serving intimidation, but is instead rooted in compassion and healthy, mutual respect. Sonny claims that he sees Calogero as a son, but is drawing him into a grim world of his own making, one that merely feeds Sonny’s own lust for power and wealth.

Peer pressure can be a terrible thing, whether from a local gangster, or just the way the crowd conducts itself. Jesus never succumbed to this, often upsetting or surprising others because he could see a better way to live. A better way to be. It was costly and not easy, but he chose less travelled roads. This film is also a great story about a good incorruptible father in a twisted and difficult world, a strict man, but knowing he needs to be like this in the corrupt neighbourhood in which they live. He cares deeply for his son Calogero and his wife Corina, and in spite of Corina’s pleas for a bit of extra cash, and his son’s insistence on knowing tough guy Sonny, Lorenzo sticks to his guns, and does all he can to keep them out of trouble. I love seeing good fathers in movies. For me they serve as parables, reminders of the kind of father who cares deeply and is willing to lay his life on the line for those he loves. See how much our heavenly father loves us, his love is so extraordinary he adopts us as his precious children. So writes John in one of his biblical letters. Fathers in this world come in all shapes, sizes, personalities and temperaments. So the writers of the bible do their best to bring a clear picture of the perfect, compassionate, patient father. The heavenly father who understands healthy living and what it is to be fully human; fully alive and totally known, understood and loved.

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