Film Friday: Yesterday

In the film Yesterday Jack Malek is a failing singer-songwriter on the verge of giving up, then something strange and extraordinary happens. One night Jack has a road accident and at the same time all the lights go out around the world for twelve seconds. When Jack wakes up in hospital he begins to make an astonishing discovery. No one else knows anything about the Beatles or their songs. And when you are a failing singer and you need a new repertoire, that’s a little bit tempting… Here’s the moment Jack begins to realise what is going on.

Jack records a five track CD and before long the great Ed Sheeran notices and takes him along on his Russian tour. Before you can say Back in the USSR Jack is singed to Ed’s label and recording a groundbreaking, musical-landscape-changing album of his ‘new’ songs.

As the momentum builds Jack’s new manager offers him the poison chalice of fame, money and success. When Jack prevaricates, she tells him all she wants is to hear him say ‘yes’ so, falteringly, Jack agrees. Though inside he’s not at all sure about this proposition. They say that power corrupts, well so does success and it’s not long before Jack starts to feels he is living a lie. Jesus was once offered this same poison chalice, out in a dry wilderness, surrounded by circling wild animals, waiting to tear him apart. He said ‘no thanks’ and chose another way. The way of washing feet. Jesus could have had the world, but instead he chose to sacrifice himself for it. To serve it. To change it for good from the inside out. This of course didn’t turn him into a doormat or a ‘yes man’, he often displayed great innovation, strength and courage. His notion of success continues to buck the trend. Mother Theresa once talked about the way we are not called to be successful, but to be faithful. That’s a challenge every day isn’t it. To live another way. To buck the trends of merely wanting popularity and trophies. To sense the breath of God as it brushes up against us and nudges us in a new direction.

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