Magnificent

January 28th, 2011
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This movie brought me to tears. It is the story of a man whose lack of limbs from birth relegated him to life as a circus side-show freak. It tells of how he was recognized by the owner of a rival circus as “magnificent”. After overcoming his bitterness, the man transformed from freak to hero. It won the Doorpost Films award in 2009

The film is an antidote to self-pity, and a lesson on faith. The impossible is often only impossible because we believe it to be so. This movie shows how foolish we are when we pity ourselves.

The name of the circus: “The Butterfly Circus”, is a cultural barrier for me. The butterfly, in a macho culture like the one I grew up in, has a very negative connotation, like the ladybug for English-speakers. It signifies vanity and weakness. Even the story of its metamorphosis, which inspires English-speaking cultures, is received with derisive laughter by the “machos” of Latin America.

And yet, I’ve seen myself as weak as an insect in a hurricane. And not just any insect, a ridiculous and powerless butterfly. For reasons some of you know, I have a life-long struggle with self-pity and have thought of myself as an invalid before. My challenge is to use my weakness to magnify the power of God working through me. My challenge is, through faith, to be magnificent.

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