“Love is more powerful than any tidal wave.”
Being a Floridian, I am quite familiar with our beaches and stories of shark-infested waters. But never had I heard of Bethany Hamilton until I saw the movie Soul Surfer.
This 2011 American biographical drama film is based on the 2004 autobiography Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family, and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton, The film Soul Surfer is about Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) who comes from a family of believers, but also comes with the gift of being one of the greatest young surfers in Hawaii.
Bethany and her childhood friend, Alana (Lorraine Nicholson), disappoint their church youth ministry leader, Sarah Hill (Carrie Underwood), as they withdraw from a planned mission trip to Mexico, in order to train for the Hawaiian Island Regionals. However, tragedy strikes while they are out surfing. Bethany dangles her left arm in the water, which is, shockingly, bitten off by a shark of which they were unaware to be in the water with them.
Although called a miracle by her doctor (Craig T. Nelson), Bethany does not find an immediate miraculous comeback early on. So, in her first time out in competition, becomes frustrated and discouraged to the point of giving away all of her surf boards to autograph seeking fans. Which is unexpected and shocking to her supportive family. While contemplating this early defeat, asks her father, “What happened to I can do all things? Why did I have to lose everything? To which her father reminds her of all the things she was blessed not to lose. Such as her life, family and people who love her.
While fighting to regain her confidence, Bethany makes a surprise decision to join her youth ministry leader as they take a missionary trip to Thailand; to help the people who’d just suffered a tsunami. While there, she finds joy in teaching the children how to surf. She says, “Love is more powerful than any tidal wave.”
Upon her return home, she is met with a lot of fan mail which encourages her to get back into competition one more time. While training with her dad (Dennis Quaid) she tells him, “I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”
She enters the Hawaiian Jr. Regional Championship and makes an awesome comeback, but not in the way you would think. You will have to watch the movie to find out what really happens. After the competition, during an interview, Bethany is asked what she would do if given the chance to undo the loss of her arm. She says that she would still lose it because she can embrace more people now than she ever could with both.
From the totality of her experience Bethany concludes, “Life is a lot like surfing, when you get caugjt in the Impact Zone. You need to get right back up because you never know what’s over the next wave. And if you have faith, anything is possible., anything at all.”
And that is what the movie will teach and display to any youth or families who watch this film. Being an overcomer may not always be easy, but it is always possible. We can do all things through Christ which strengthens us. (Philippians 4:13 NKJV)
Originally released in 2011, Soul Surfer is 112 min and established as a family film and can be seen on Netflix and Hula..
Director: Sean McNamara
Writers: Sean McNamara (screenplay), Deborah Schwartz (screenplay)
Stars: AnnaSophia Robb, Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, Carrie Underwood, Kevin Sorbo, Craig T. Nelson and Branscombe Richmond.
We give Soul Surfer
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