FILM

Rudderless
By Mel Chambers With on February 09, 2014

*****Spoiler Alert***** Rudderless is a film that deals with a father (Billy Crudup) who has lost his son in a school shooting. At the beginning of the film you see a father who is so lost in the fact that his world has been shattered. The he pulls away from society, and become somewhat of a hermit living on boat on a lake in Oklahoma. The thing that begins to pull him out of this funk is the fact that his ex-wife (Felicity Huffman) finds box full of their son's music. Sam, the father, begins to learn his son's music.

He makes his first big jump back into society by playing one of the songs at an open mic night. From that point on he reluctantly forms a band that plays his son's music, but he never tells his band mates where the inspiration for these songs has come from. He seems to be happy to keep that as a piece of privileged information. The band becomes more and more known. People begin to talk about playing to bigger audiences, and even a record deal. This makes Sam a bit reluctant, but finally he agrees to move forward.

Then this film takes an interesting turn. We find out that while yes his son was killed in a school shooting it was because his son was the shooter. The impact this has on the life of Sam and his band is almost instant. The band refuses to play songs by this killer. Sam is left again trying to find out how to grieve for his son. In the final scene, Sam finally tells people where the music is coming from, and still decides to play.

While this film dealt with such a heavy subject, it was handled very delicately. It made the ideas of loss and grief seem so real even if you had not lost someone in such a horrific way. The thing that I think this film pointed out was how we treat those that have wronged us or in this case their families. When the reveal is made of who the songs were written by people almost were irrational about the idea of playing them. It was almost as if they were to play them then they would be condoning the violent acts of Sam's son.

This got me thinking about how the church sometimes almost forgets to care for the families of the attackers and decides to only support the victims families. While it is easier to to care for those that have been wronged we must remember that a parent could do everything right, but there child still turn out different than they hoped. We cannot always place blame, but we do need to show the love of Christ to all those that are suffering no matter the cause of the suffering.

About the Author: Mel Chambers
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