Dinner and a Movie

7 Apr

As much as I love and obsess over North American pop culture, I have to admit that sometimes, Hollywood just can’t compete.

Last night, as you know, I had a “dinner and a movie” date with one of my very favourite people, my friend Maureen. Maureen is passionate about a lot of things, but especially about her work and about engaging with the world beyond her front door. Recently she was able to combine the two with a conference series in Kuwait, where she educated doctors, nurses and physiotherapists about neo-natal intensive care, and the steps they need to take to ensure the best survival and care of the premature babies born at their hospital.

All of which is a long way of saying that Maureen wasn’t interested in seeing the latest Jake Gyllenhall movie. Luckily for us, there’s a great little theatre in my neighbourhood that features small, independent and often foreign films. So after a fantastic dinner of caprese salad and fresh pasta at Dimmi’s Trattoria, we walked across the street to watch Winter in Wartime (Oorlogswinter). The movie is about a Dutch family living in a small town in Holland near the end of WWII,. The events of that time changed the lives the entire family, and the youngest son in particular, who learns that doing the what’s right, and brave, and good, is not necessarily always the same thing.

Sorry if that sounded overly-sentimental; I was so completely engrossed by the story that I can’t help it! The acting was absolutely phenomenal, and the almost-two-hour running time flew by.

But for me, one of the most moving parts of the night happened before the movie even started. We were joined in the theatre elevator by an elderly couple, who asked if we were on our way to see Winter in Wartime. When we said we were, the gentleman told us that he had actually lived through the Nazi occupation in Holland. He talked about how grateful they were to the Canadian Allied forces who liberated their town, and how he and his wife were taking their grandchildren to this movie so they could share his experiences together. So there I was, all verklempt in the elevator, before even seeing a frame of the movie!

See, that’s why I love living in this city. Opportunities to learn amazing stories are everywhere.

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2 Responses to “Dinner and a Movie”

  1. BA April 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm #

    Movies like that one are pretty rare in today’s cinemagraphic world.

    But then, so are those who truely appreciate them

    • amber April 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      Thanks for the comment!

      You’re right, these days people don’t admit to their glue movies very often – and if they do, they’re usually accused of not taking film “seriously” enough. But I think movies are meant to be enjoyed 🙂

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