On Sunday evening I took Ricki to one of the innumerable films playing at various locations in the city as entertainment for Chanukah. I knew in advance that I would not be “missing” anything if I would skip this Orthodox- filmed play. The quality is so far below that I am used to, growing up in America, that I am invariably disappointed. But Ricki enjoys these plays (even if she often doesn’t really manage to comprehend the plot), so I took her. But something strange happened in the middle.
In this film, a supposedly very religious teen prays sincerely to G-d, and lo and behold three miracles occur by the end of the film. Not one, but THREE. [As an aside, I am wondering how educational these films are. Do we really want to raise a generation with such an infantile attitude towards G-d? I mean, I hate to say it, but “miracle on demand” is not the way G-d generally runs things. And if you grow up thinking that it is, will the first time hitting a “brick wall” of seemingly unanswered prayer not totally derail their belief system????] Anyway, back to the movie- at one point the heroine breaks out in a song of emmuna and betachon (fervent belief), and this umpteenth rendition of the time hit much of the older teen audience as ludicrous (which it was), and they started laughing. Ricki, however, was crying. She understood that the other protagonists in the story were ill, and she was crying for them. I was stuck by the opposed responses of the “normal” teens and of Ricki., and pondered why it should be so. The answer is obvious. Everyone else was 100% sure that this is only a story, and one which they understand will “work out” in the end. The producers would NEVER let the ill teen character die. A happy conclusion is a forgone conclusion.
In Ricki’s case, the blurring of comprehension between what is true and what is fictional makes it all much more “real” to her. And she doesn’t understand that the producers have a miracle tucked up their sleeves…..