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The middle of July 2018 was not good for the cinema. It was hot. Wimbledon and the World Cup were on as was the Lynmouth Regatta. Everything was competing against each other. It was then that we adventurously put on Lean on Pete.
It is very likely that you missed this film. Bill judges films by their beginings. Some of you rate books by their endings. This is not the way to judge a drama. A drama in bits ceases to be a drama. A film with a happy start and tragic ending becomes a comedy and conversly, as with this film, a tragic start with triumphantly happy ending becomes some thing depressing which should be avoided.
As the film starts we see a young man with no mother and lumbered by a feckless father who he still loves. The father's behaviour gets him killed and then the boy is really alone. Alone until he befriends the horse which he is caring for. This in turn turns ill. He steals to survive and there are many conflicts and difficulties but the boy knows what he must do. He must find his aunt, his only living relative, who he believes will help him.
They find each other and he finds the love and stability he was looking for. He can go to school again. He feels guilty about what he had been forced to do to survive but he is reassured. No he will not go to prison. His old life is over and with someone who loves him and will take care of him.
Films are like modern-day folk tales, like the stories people used to tell around flickering camp fires at the end of another day. We love the twists and turns, the relationship stories, the mysteries and the thrilling edge-of-the-seat moments, we gasp and laugh, we identify with the characters and the situations they find themselves in. Sometimes these stories help us think through the purpose and direction of our own lives. We discuss them, share our reactions and hear what others think. They can be like biblical parables, inspiring us towards truth, kindness and justice. And sometimes they may even change the way we live.