Faith in Film, Week 2
This week we're tackling the movie "Alice in Wonderland." The story was originally written as a novel by Lewis Carroll in 1865. In 1951, Disney adapted it famously as an animated feature. Then in 2010, it got the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp treatment.
The film was wildly popular when it was released, winning a pair of Academy Awards for its visual style. It also made quite a bit of money at the Box Office, kicking off a wave of live-action fairy tale adaptations.
But what I love about the film isn't the aesthetic, but rather the heart in the story. In a lot of ways, it's about the importance of understanding and recognizing your purpose, and how that helps you fit in the ways you're needed for those around you.
At the outset of the film, Alice is a girl who has a clear sense of self and a clear goal for her life. But that doesn't match the goal and sense of purpose others have for her, especially her mother and sister. Alice finds herself in the midst of a surprise marriage proposal and engagement party when she sees the White Rabbit, slips away, falls down the rabbit hole, and ends up in Wonderland.
There, Alice suffers from a lack of confidence because she's torn between who she knows she is and the role her mother wants her to play. But the people of Wonderland need Alice, and they need her to realize who she is and what her purpose is. A lot of the movie is about that journey, and it's one I find fascinating.
When Alice finally gains the confidence to appreciate who she is and who she's been called to be, we see a change in her. She not only saves Wonderland, but she returns home and takes control of her own life in an inspiring fashion.
We all gain confidence when we recognize our own God-given purpose, and that confidence comes from living for something bigger than ourselves. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." When Alice embraces her purpose, her whole outlook on life changes. The same is true for us as well.
1. Did this film work for you, why or why not?
2. Alice has a vision for her life that doesn’t match the vision her mother has for her life. That leads Alice to be conflicted. Has there ever been a time in your life when you struggled to understand your purpose?
3. Many of the people in Wonderland express faith in Alice and her abilities, and that helps guide her path. Have you ever had others help affirm your purpose?
4. Finding her purpose is key for Alice. It helps her to fulfill the role that is needed in Wonderland, and gives her the confidence to find her path at home. Why is it important for us to understand our God-given purpose?