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The Film The Book Of Life - Lessons Learned

Wow -I've just watched the film The Book Of Life - It's a children's film that deals openly with death.
I couldn't help but compare my own grief journey too it. There were lots of similarities. But it also provided confirmation about some things that I already believed to be true and left me with a sense of hope.

I will explain why-

The film starts with some children being led to a room in a museum. The room holds The Book Of Life. The Tour Guide tells them the story that takes place in a town called San Angel. 

The are two other lands-The Land of the Remembered where the deceased live as long as their loved ones remember them and the Land of the Forgotten were the deceased live who have none to remember them. These lands have two separate gods-a good and a bad one of course. 

The story begins with The Day of the Dead festival . There are celebrations on the graves of loved ones and the spirits of the loved ones appear and the people can feel them.

One of the main characters is a girl called Maria and the story is about two boys who are seeking her love. The two gods place a bet on which boy she will marry-if the good god wins the bad god has to be good but if the bad god wins he gets the good god's Land of the Remembered.  

Each god chooses a boy to champion. The good god chooses the boy (Manolo) who just likes to play a guitar but is meant to be a bull fighter-but he can't bring himself to kill any bulls. The bad god chooses the soldiers son (Joaquin) and gives him a magic medal to make him invincible. The bad god cheats and makes Manolo believe that Maria is dead when she is bitten by a serpent he created. Manolo asks for the serpent to kill him too so he can follow Maria his true love into the Land of the Remembered.  

However Maria is still alive and left to possibly marry Joaquin who is now a great warrior and can save and protect the town from enemies. When Manolo enters the Land of the Remembered he meets up with all his deceased family including his Mother. He realises he has been tricked as Maria is not there. The good god has been sent the Land of the Forgotten so he journeys there to tell her she has been tricked to. His family all help him. 

To get into the land Manolo has to cross to the Cave of Souls. After taking on lots of dangerous tasks, Manolo's pure heart allows him and his family to enter the Cave. They meet the Candle Maker who oversees the lives of everybody in the living world. Every ones life is symbolised by a burning candle. Manolo convinces him to take him through to the Land of the Forgotten to meet The good god. The Candle Maker agrees after seeing that Manolo's story in the Book of Life has yet to be written because he is writing it himself. Manolo meets the good god and tells her the truth she makes the bad god listen to Manolo's wager of his own( to be restored to life if he passes any challenge).  

Manolo is forced to face his deepest fear and to fight all the bulls his family had ever fought. He wins by singing about how sorry he is that the bulls were killed and the final bull peacefully dissolves. Manolo returns to the living world with his family. He goes on to save the day by being a true hero and marries Maria.

Key messages-the children learn

True Love never dies

Loved ones should be remembered

Our loved ones even in spirit form help us

We are reunited with our loved ones

Each of our lives is just a candle which can be extinguished at any point.

Celebrate our loved ones lives even after death

Show true strength by using what we have within ourselves to fight our enemies

Face your fears and if your heart is true you will overcome them

We all write the story of our life-the pages are blank until we write them

There is more to life and death we could ever imagine or know -within this film anything was possible 

Within our lives anything is possible -our true feelings of love in our heart will help guide us. We should listen to our hearts.


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About the Author

I lost my boyfriend of three years -Ste suddenly in July 2014 he was 45. He was my soulmate and best friend. I am sharing my articles and poems about my thoughts and feelings in order to help ease the loss of others who are experiencing heartbreak and pain and missing their love ones.

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