Also known as "Small Miracles", released by Questar, Inc in 2004. This quietly lovely film won Best Film at the Austin and Berlin International Film Festivals, and tells the profoundly moving story of 12-year old Taliesin Jones, who struggles with the chaos of his life, while struggling to come to terms when his mother suddenly leaves the family home. His father has become distant, his brother has become angry and bitter, while Taliesin dives into the world of his imagination looking for solace. After witnessing his piano teacher heal a woman's ailing back with the power of prayer, Taliesen begins a spiritual quest. He forms a secret society at his school, "The Believers". But his attempts to heal a classmate and his teacher's grave illness leave him feeling lost and confused, and test his newfound faith. This film is more than a "coming of age" film - it is the tale of everyone who's ever tried to make sense of things that just can't be made sense of, and the grace that fills our ... Written by
Lisa Alekna, M. Ed., LSWA
The name of the school, "CWM Derwen Comprehensive" is shown (at around 27 mins) on the gate and can also be seen at 88:27 in the crest on Taliesin's school jumper (pullover sweater). From the Welsh language, "cwm" means "valley" in English and "derwen" means "oak tree". In the United Kingdom, a comprehensive school is a secondary school for children from the age of 11 to at least 16. CWM Derwen Comprehensive could then be translated as Oak Valley Secondary. See more »
In the end credits, Morgan Hopkins is credited as playing Mr. Willis' son, which may be conceptually true, but which should be Mrs. Willis' son. See more »
This film is a little gem in British film-making. It is beautifully shot in south Wales, with a gorgeous score, and top performances, particularly Ian Bannen as the gifted healer who befriends John-Paul Macleod. What I liked about it though, was that some of the characters are allowed to pursue their spiritual sides - in the old-fashioned Christian sense of the word spiritual, without any sense of mocking from the film-makers. That's rare. Christian attitudes tend to be looked down on in todays movies.
But even if you really don't care for that aspect of the story, it's well worth watching for all the reasons I mentioned above. All the actors are brilliant, and the film kind of reels you in to make you watch it - I was just flicking through the channels, and there it was, and I really couldn't stop watching it! So I missed the first five minutes...!
Watch it if you are interested in quality films that make you think, and care about the characters, and leave you feeling nice and warm, rather than cold.
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