At one level, the 2013 film GRAVITY is a spectacular high-tech disaster movie based in space. Anyone interested in the aerospace industry will be excited to get a close-up view of recent and modern day space hardware, complete with International Space Station, Hubble Telescope and Russian and Chinese re-entry vehicles, as well as breath-taking images of sunrises over planet Earth.
But at another level, this is just a story about a lonely person struggling to find a reason to live. Mission specialist Dr Ryan Stone (played by Sandra Bullock) is a private person. She has been in space for a number of days now without sharing much about herself to her colleagues. You sense something is not quite right when she’s asked what she likes about space and she says “The Silence”. It’s not until all hell breaks loose around her and she is on the very edge of survival that she confides in fellow astronaut Matt Kowalski (played by George Clooney) that she lost her four-year-old daughter some time ago.
Soon Ryan is on her own and her situation looks completely lost. “Nobody ever taught me how to (pray)” she says to a foreign voice at the end of the radio, and she asks him to pray for her. Still, she is resigned to her hopeless plight and prepares to die. Then an unexpected answer comes back to her with such power and clarity that it could have been an angel. The message is simple – you will never get back what you had, but you still have a future – you must grab hold of it.
While the dilemma facing Ryan Stone was particularly stark, it’s a choice that we all face in one way or another in our lives. As Moses once said to his people in the desert
“.. I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
GRAVITY is a beautiful film that will provide inspiration and encouragement to anyone who is searching for hope and purpose after loss.