My wife and I were delighted to see that The Black Balloon was chosen as the best film for 2008 (Catholic Leader, January 18).
We watched this on DVD shortly after your paper was published, ironically during a rare night when we were both at home from having left our three-year-old son in hospital.
The challenges faced by the family featured in this movie resonated strongly with us. Not only do my son and wife both have to deal with chronic illness but my parents also have to contend with the demands of caring for a sibling with an intellectual disability.
My sister Sharron may be able to communicate more than Thomas does in The Black Balloon but her demands are no less taxing (at times), nor the rewards no less fulfilling (at times!)
In an era of films depicting characters wearing rocket-powered suits of armour or turning green at the drop of a military hat, The Black Balloon shows that the real ‘super-heroes’ are the parents, brothers and sisters, who sacrifice a ‘normal’ lifestyle to care for those with special, and specific, needs.
We commend all those involved with bringing this film to our screens and urge any youth group, Bible study group or classroom, dealing with Social Studies or RE, to consider using it as a stimulus for further dialogue and discussion.
It does a wonderful job of showing the viewer that sometimes, it’s in the most unexpected places that our moments of grace and insight can be found.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
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