Here’s a real sleeper of a film that came from the most unlikely of places – a reality show on HBO. It’s rare that a film explores the complex themes of faith, coming of age and prejudice in any meaningful manner, but this film somehow pulls it off quite well. It’s not a perfect production, but the script and acting rise above the usual Hollywood fare to leave quite an impression.

It’s also a wonderful study of the concept of perseverance – something we have been focusing on this year quite a bit.

For more information and the assignment, here are the links:

Stolen Summer Assignment (E9H)
Stolen Summer Script
Stolen Summer on IMDB
Roger Ebert’s review of Stolen Summer

Finally, I want to point out something that may be an issue for some of you. Yes, this film deals very directly with issues of faith and religion – specifically Catholicism and Judaism. While these religions are central to the plot and conflict of this film, religion is not the focus nor is this a film that proselytizes. Instead, I encourage you to look at the deeper topics and themes of perseverance, family, faith and coming of age. These themes are particularly poignant when you consider them from the perspectives of the two young boys, their parents and the two families. If you do that, I believe you’ll see that this is a remarkable film in terms of how it reveals important aspects of the human experience – no matter what religion you may believe in or none at all.