© 2011 Ian
© 2011 Ian C. Bloom
To Kill a Mockingbird
††††††††††††††††††††††††† †† † a film by Robert Mulligan released through Universal City Studios in 1962
Childhood is a time of wonder.† So much is new and incomprehensible.† In fact, much of the joy of that state of life lay in such ignorance.† Before the pains, injustices, and disappointments of life impress themselves upon the human spirit, before hope is lost and life becomes routine, the mind runs free in flights of fancy and imagination, thrilling to each new discovery.
†††††††††††††††††† Despite the serious content of To Kill A Mockingbird, an air of wonderment infuses the entire story.† Scout or Jim is present in every sceneópractically nothing is made known to us that isnít also the purview of Jim or Scout.†
†††††††††††††††††† And while the film seems to lose its moorings by providing such details of the Tom Robinson trial (being that itís the only part of the film where the protagonists are mere spectators to the action), we realize at the filmís climax that the Boo Radley storyline and the Tom Robinson storylines were never parallel, but were all the while headed on a collision course.† The film is not sentimental, it is not preachyóit exposes prejudice while acknowledging the difficulty in vanquishing it.†
†††††††††††††††††† In this tired little world where time stands still, where money is scarce, summer heat punishes effort, and old prejudices stifle fresh thinking, Jim and Scout through their intelligence and resourcefulness never face boredom. †They have nothing.† But in games, exploration, observation, and questioning they begin to understand what life is all about.† And weíre carried along with them, recalling our own formative years, but marveling at how much things have changed.† Often, we still donít have the answers to lifeís difficult questions.† But back then we didnít need to know.† We were looked after.† We were secure and trusting.† And while we are grateful that we have been spared the challenges faced by Jim and Scout, donít we all long to recover that spirit of adventure?† Donít we miss being tested and proved equal to lifeís challenges?† Donít the days seem shorter and the future bleaker?† Donít we long for gentle slumber?† Donít we all want a father like Atticus Finch?