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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Directed by Scott Hicks
Warner Home Video 11/96 DVD/VHS Feature Film
PG-13 - nudity/sensuality, intense thematic elements

Creativity is an expression of our passion for life, and nourishing this capacity is a sacred obligation. When we are unable or unwilling to do so, others appear like angels, almost miraculously, to help us nurture our God-given gifts.

Shine is a remarkable Australian film which charts the creative odyssey of David Helfgott, a classical pianist. Although his stern and authoritarian father recognizes that David is a child prodigy, he is determined to control every aspect of his son's life.

The boy finds the support he needs to keep his soul alive in the presence of two angels — his music teacher and an elderly woman writer. However, unable to bear the pressure to both prove himself to his father and to pull away from him, the musician suffers a nervous breakdown, just when he seems on the verge of a brilliant international career. He spends 15 years in a psychiatric hospital undergoing elctroshock treatment. Then two more angels appear in his life, showing him the way back to his great musical gift. Their love enables him to shine brightly.

Written and directed by Scott Hicks, this emotionally affecting film registers on the heart with the powerful performances of Geofrey Rush, Noah Taylor, Sir John Gielgud, Armin Mueller-Stahl, and Lynn Redgrave. Based on a true story, this film is true in more ways than one.


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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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