In my “In the Spirit” column in today’s Grand Forks Herald (March 10) I write about “October Baby,” a movie that opens March 23 in River Cinema 15, East Grand Forks.
I was honored to be among the 30 or so people invited to a private screening on Feb. 21. I left the theater knowing I would write a column on what I had just seen, blog about it and spread the word by word-of-mouth.
“October Baby,” is the debut full length feature film for award-winning writers/directors/brothers, Jon and Andrew Erwin, Birmingham, Ala. It was a joy to interview Andrew by telephone. We hadn’t talked long when he said, “Naomi, we’re friends now. You can call me Andy.”
And so I did.
“October Baby,” is about a young woman named Hannah, who finds out she’s the adopted survivor of an attempted abortion. That’s pretty heavy stuff for a college freshman but when Rachel accepts the facts and the truth, she sets out on a journey to find her birth mother.
Now I’d like to tell you more, such things as if she finds her birth mother or not. But I mustn’t say too much because I want you to experience the movie for yourself. I will say this, though, while searching for her biological mother, Hannah finds many things – the essence of which is the power of forgiveness.
You think there’s someone who has done something to you that you can’t forgive? You might find yourself rethinking that after you see this movie.
You’ll experience a range of emotions while watching “October Baby.” It’s everything: charming, awkward, tragic, a love story. You’ll cry and you’ll laugh especially about the comical things that happen when Hannah travels during spring break with several friends in an old beat up Volkswagen.
It’s while on that trip that Jason decides to help Hannah begin the search for her birth mother and they branch out on their own.
And oh, wait until you see the nurse they discover, a beautiful human being, who was present when the abortion took place.
I told Andy on the phone that I liked every minute of “October Baby,” but one thing in particular stood out. It’s this:
After Hannah and Jason, both 19, left the other group and after hours on the road they can’t stay awake. They stop for sleep but find out there is only one motel room available in this little town. They take it but because they feel so uncomfortable being together in a motel room, he on the floor and she in the bed, they take their blankets and go sleep on couches in the lobby.
This is an example every young person in today’s world should witness.
“Being a story of forgiveness and healing,” Andy said, “there are so many other things you can bring to the surface and abstinence is one of them. Our young people are forced into believing that the way relationships are (usually) presented on screen is normal. I think it’s anything but normal. To portray that these are young people and to do it in a way that’s not cliché or cheesy is a risk. You hope it connects with the teenager.”
I’m no teenager but it sure connected with me.
“October Baby,” is a moving story in so many ways. I hope you’ll go see it. Remember, it opens March 23 in River Cinema 15, East Grand Forks.