I have seen the billboards all over Salt Lake advertising for this "17 Miracles" movie. Didn't really think much of it until I was at a Relief Society Party and the movie was brought up in conversation.
Over and over again, I kept hearing that I would cry my eyes out and that it was an incredible movie. So, last Tuesday I went with my friends Kristen and Renee. Prepared myself with my own handkerchief so I wouldn't have to use the sleeve of my shirt.
As we gave the ticket lady our tickets to go in, she too said "Oh, I hope you have your tissues, this one's going to make you cry." Which, thankfully again, I thought of my handkercheif and was so glad for my preparation.
The movie is filmed from Levi Savage's point of view during the Willey/Martin handcart journey. We witness every hardship, suffering, starvation and enduring of the cold that the pioneers had to experience for that certain Trek. I had read "The Price We Paid" and a few other books before I went on Trek a few years ago, so I was very familiar with the stories. What I loved about this movie was that they also focused on the many miracles that each person witnessed and wrote about in their journals.
I love the character of Levi Savage. His humility and his strength to help the pioneers through this hardship is inspiring. My heart goes out to him for his humility in repenting for wanting the Saints to wait until Spring to head to Zion.
Of course, I was gleefully excited when the movie recognized my Pioneer heritage: the Loader family. They focused on Tamar's point of view mainly, but also gave a great tribute to the relationshiop of James and Amy Loader. I was so excited to see them portrayed in the movie also.
I did get my giggles and snickers as many of the same actors in previous LDS movies played parts in this film. I kept leaning over to Kristen saying, "theres' Joseph Smith with a beard." or "there's Alvin" aka Elder Johnston from the Best Two Years. All the actors did an amazing job, even though we love them for who they played previously.
Yes, I did cry. But not the heaving, curling up in a ball in my seat, shaking kind of cry. I mostly teared up when the Saints would pray to Heavenly Father for help. For some reason that struck a chord in me. Maybe because I have felt what it feels like to have to pray and have a feeling of complete surrending and asking God for help. For a brief moment, I felt like we at least had that in common.
Overall, the movie is beautiful! The story line, the scenery, the relationships that are portrayed. It was such a joy to watch and when the movie had ended, no one left until the credits had ended. Almost felt like we had witnessed something sacred. What a lovely feeling!