Movie packs Lent message
Film tells story of love and reconciliation
By Tony Staley
Anyone looking for a charming, entertaining and thoughtful film
can find it in Shower, a Chinese film with subtitles, available
at larger video stores. Shower has all one could ask for in a
film - except a car chase - comedy, drama and engaging characters
and a delightful and meaningful story.
It begins when a mentally retarded young man sends his older
brother a hand-drawn postcard that suggests their father is dead.
The brother, an up-and-coming young businessman, reluctantly
returns to old Beijing where his father is still running the
family business - a male bathhouse. The older brother remains for
a few days and we're treated to scenes of the father and younger
son at work and play - two activities that they enjoy with equal
relish. We see an exploration of both the father-son relationship
and that of sophistication vs. simplicity.
The bathhouse is more than a place where neighborhood men can
wash away dirt. They also relax and socialize - two old men stage
daily battles between their crickets. The father even helps a
quarreling husband and wife with their marital woes.
While this Chinese movie is set in a communist country and
religion is never mentioned, the overall effect is deeply
spiritual with its reconciliation theme and the overpowering
baptismal elements. It's ideal for Lent.