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The camera spends a great amount of time looking down upon the disaster and ensuing restoration from above. Occasionally, it drifts upward to the sky from the characters' perspective as well. It makes one wonder how the eyes of God can still be looking at man when the eyes of man are blind to his purposes. Films like these open up theological debates and personal injuries all over again. Questions of "Why, Lord?" and "Where were you?" flit through one's mind. But one thing is certain: The actions of the characters in this movie have a smack of divine spark to them. The compassion present here is sacrificial and authentic.

Oaklee Pendergast as Simon, Ewan McGregor as Henry, and Samuel Joslin as Thomas

Oaklee Pendergast as Simon, Ewan McGregor as Henry, and Samuel Joslin as Thomas

The film begins and ends with a plane flying over a quiet, still, and vast—yet unassuming—ocean. It's a poignant visual metaphor given what will soon transpire. The tranquil, the idyll can turn into the chaotic in the course of a few minutes. This chaos is best seen against a backdrop of familial affection. Love becomes most apparent not in the quiet ocean or the luxurious resort, but in the wreckage left by water gone wild. The tsunami destroys, undeniably, but it's a wonder to see crowds of people making their way through rubble and carnage to rebuild and search not just for themselves but for their fellow human beings as well. In disaster, these people did not turn to animalism but to a deeper sense of humanity, not to selfishness but altruism. Family became a definition able to include all those affected and afflicted. And watching that can bring tears to your eyes.

Talk About It

  1. What can be done to best alleviate pain—including emotional and spiritual pain—in the wake of disasters like these?
  2. How can a family's love overcome such a terrifying situation? Has your own family ever had to endure anything incredibly difficult?
  3. Situations like these can mature young children faster than normal. Is this a good or bad thing? Both? Why or why not?

The Family Corner

The Impossible is rated PG-13 for intense realistic disaster sequences, including disturbing injury images and brief nudity. Brief female nudity is seen but never sexually. The mother's injuries and ensuing illness are disturbing, while other patients in the hospital also suffer terrible injuries and pain. The whole story is told under the pretense of extensive anxiety and post-traumatic stress.

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The Impossible