Tuesday, August 14 , 2018, 9:55 am | Mostly Cloudy 70º

 
 
 
 

Cinema in Focus: ‘Noble’

3 Stars — Compassionate

True stories make some of the best cinema, as seen in this cinematic biography of Christina Noble. Appropriately named for the life she depicted, Noble walks with this woman through a devastating childhood that prepared her for an exemplary ministry, showing compassion for children like herself.

The only difference between her life and the lives she helps is that she lived on the streets of Ireland and the children she is called to serve live in Vietnam.

Directed and written by Stephen Bradley and staring Deirdre O’Kane in the tile role, the film is moving without the sentimentalism often found in such biographies.

The account begins when Christina (played by Gloria Cramer Curtis as a child) is the oldest of six children in the home of an alcoholic family.

Having discovered that music sooths the drunken rampages of her father, Christina dreams of one day being a professional musician.

The dream ends at age 10, when her mother dies and her father neglects Christina and her siblings. Christina tries to provide for the brood by begging and scavenging on the streets.

The authorities soon discover their distress and the children are taken from their father and purposefully separated into different institutions. Christina ends up in an orphanage run by nuns.  

What is fascinating is that though Christina is a Christian and has a real relationship with Jesus, she knows the nuns do not represent him. It is this natural spiritual wisdom that guides not only her life but also the true purpose for her existence.

Asking God to make sense out of the sorrows and disappointments of her life, as a young adult she is given a dream to one day go to Saigon to care for the children of the street just as she had been. This is the story of a woman accomplishing a God-given dream.

The lessons of the film are many, and Christina’s life is in fact a noble expression of natural Christian wisdom and love.

She discovers that God does not waste her pain. Instead he uses her experiences to provoke empathy and provide wisdom in helping the children who have found themselves abandoned by family and society.

Christina discovers that life is seldom without sorrow but God is with us in the sorrow. This is expressed directly when Christina is raped, becomes pregnant and the nuns take her son and give him to others to raise.

Overwhelmed with grief, she goes to the chapel to speak with God, explaining that God is the only one who understands because he also lost his son.

The victories that Christina experienced do not spoil the tale but rather make the experience of her journey all the more moving.

Beginning foundations in both Vietnam and Mongolia, the Christina Noble Foundation continues to bring wholeness into the broken lives of children.

That is truly a noble, Christian endeavor.

Discussion

» What pain have you experienced that God is or could be using to bring His healing into this world? What are you doing or going to do with what you’ve experienced?

» The embarrassment of the Vietnam government about their street children is echoed in the various cities of our world. How do you think this embarrassment and subsequent cover-up keeps us from doing something decisive about the children who live on the streets? What can you do for the homeless children of our world?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is the retired pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through Stripe below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >