Monday, August 15, 2011

Soul Surfer

The movie, 'Soul Surfer' is  about Bethany Hamilton, the teenage surfer who, at the age of 13, lost her arm in an attack by a 14-foot tiger shark.  One month after the attack, Bethany was back in the water. Less than two months later, she competed and placed fifth in the Open Women's Division of the competition. Only one year after she lost her arm, Bethany won her first national title by placing first in the Explorer Women's division of the 2005 NSSA National Championships. The Hamilton family is a devout Christian family who gives credit for Bethany's incredible return to surfing, to the Lord.

The studio Mandalay Pictures teamed up with Sony to produce the movie. It stars AnnaSophia Robb in the part of Bethany. Also starring in the movie are Dennis Quaid and Helen Hunt as Bethany's parents.  Carrie Underwood plays the part of a church youth leader who encourages Bethany and her friends to stay spiritually strong.

In the studio's attempt to make the movie more secular, and to make it appeal to non-Christian audiences, they digitally removed the words, Holy Bible, from the front of the Bible that Bethany's father was reading while she was in the hospital. They did not cut out the part where Carrie Underwood was quoting scripture to the group of teens, but did not want it to be known that the scripture came from the Bible.

At an early viewing, Tom Hamilton, Bethany's father, was unhappy with the way the movie had been edited. The studio got to work and changed the scene. When the Hamilton's viewed the movie again, they were happy with the changes.

Even though the Hamilton family did not agree with everything the producers did in the movie, they are very happy with how the movie turned out in the end. Carrie Underwood was also pleased with the message the movie sends to the audience. 

My husband and I went to see this movie when it came out in theaters.  A couple weeks later, my eleven year old daughter broke her arm, and was going through her own grief over the "loss".  So I went to see it, once again, with her and her brother and sisters.     It helped her gain a little perspective on things, and made a difference in the way she viewed her troubles.  It is an incredible movie, and I enjoyed it as much the second time I watched it as I did the first.  I can't say that about a lot of movies.  I think it's a keeper, and one I plan to buy on DVD.

For more information about Bethany Hamilton and the movie 'Soul Surfers', visit the official Bethany Hamilton website, and the articles listed below.

Producer Tried to Edit Bible Out of Sony's Soul Surfer; by Paul Bond, Hollywood Reporter

Sony Producer Tried to Edit 'Holy Bible' Out of 'Soul Surfer', John Nolte; Andrew Breitbart Presents Big Hollywood