One of the great films from the 60s. The story is narrated through the eyes of ‘Scout’, a young girl, who along with her brother ‘Jem’ and a friend named ‘Dill’, shows us her small neighborhood replete with curious, strange and frightening neighbors. There are events that take place in the small town called Maycomb, in Alabama, which teach lessons to the young children that will live with their whole lives. It is a tale of discovery, adventure and coming of age as to the realities of life, in general, in that small town; not all of them pleasant nor are they good. The story is captivating and the pace of the film is slow, like life in those years from 1933 to 1935. There is a lesson to be learned, symbolized by the mockingbird.

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This film is the beautiful story of a simple peasant girl in 1850s France near the Spanish border who, one day, sees a lady, a beautiful lady, in the most curious of places. The lady asks Bernadette to come back for 15 more days which she does, faithfully. The story of Bernadette became well-known at that time and spread like a wild fire throughout France. Around 80 years later, Franz Werfel, the author of the book on which the film was based, was escaping the Nazis in Europe during World War II when he happened, by chance, to find himself in the little town of Lourdes in southern France where the visions had occurred. He made a promise there that should he should escape the Nazis and get to America he would tell the story of the little visionary. Well, he escaped and he kept his promise. Soon after he arrived in the United States he published his book, The Song of Bernadette, in 1941. Soon afterwards, in 1943, the film was released to the public.

The original film is especially worth watching because it has one of the most magnificent soundtracks ever composed for a film. You will surely be impressed by it and by its wonderful, wonderful story of faith, not religious faith, as you may think when you watch the film but a faith in oneself and one’s vision despite all obstacles and despite all unbelief. It is, also, a real story of genuine simplicity and extreme poverty but it is, also, a story, truly, of unseen beauty and splendor.

The short video below is a tender and passionate tribute to Bernadette’s inner beauty, her inner splendor. This film imparts, to those sensitive beings who see beyond the scenery and the actors on the screen in the film, a special experience which few films can evoke. The Song of Bernadette is, also, an allegory about this invisible beauty and splendor that few have but yet only the arts, in a film such as this, can portray it. The original soundtrack in the original film will take you to heights of heartfelt, spiritual splendor, magnificence and majesty. It will transport you, also, back to the mundane, the average world and the average experience that most live their whole lives.

The  video below uses another composer’s music but, nevertheless, it captures the absolute essence of what the film is about. It is a veritable work of art condensed in a little over two minutes, not an easy feat by any means.

Bernadette’s life was, in no way, an easy life. That’s for sure. One can hardly imagine how she suffered terribly. Only those who have gone through such suffering could ever do that. The film portrays, even amidst the poverty she experienced at that time, how she tried to live it as beautifully as possible as a very young lady, in her condition in life, could do it in the 19th century. That she was born into that world is bad enough but for her it was terribly painful as it was for many who were born into that reality at that time. That world, however, was especially tragic for her because she suffered immeasurably from various physical ailments due to the reality of having been born, not only into extremely, degrading poverty but, also, at a time when medicine had many limitations. Her vision, her insight and her soul transcended that reality so she was capable of envisioning “a lady” so beautiful and so resplendent that, finally, when “the lady” revealed her name she knew and understood deeply a truth that few understand.

At the last apparition, when Bernadette asked the lady for her name, in the vision, she said: “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

Immaculate conception! Two words, two powerful and profound meanings, combined into a single idea, a single entity. The story would have you believe that she didn’t know what that revelation meant, however, in my view, she did know. She just could not reveal the inner truth to people in the 19th century. Anyone who knows history knows what people were capable of, especially then. Even now, new revelations are never received easily. People die brutally for speaking truth.

Physical beauty exists in this world and is very common but true, inner beauty, as portrayed in this film, is that which is a rare jewel indeed, rarely seen and rarely felt. It does not come very often, that is for sure. One must see this film to know that beauty, real inner beauty cannot be seen but it can be expressed, especially, by that special person that receives that gift and by how that person is in real life. If a person is very beautiful physically and does not have true inner beauty then something truly magnificent is missing in that person. Bernadette’s life, portrayed in the 1943 film and the original soundtrack used, has the ability to create an unforgettable effect of wonder, emotion and such love that, maybe, it will be a story which you will never forget.

The video below, now in circulation on YouTube, with its soundtrack composition entitled Everywhere from the 1995 film Powder, was put together with key scenes from the original film and expresses, in a short two minutes, the essence and power of Bernadette’s real life story.

Note: The following video’s soundtrack below is not the original soundtrack of the 1943 film. This video was not created by the owner nor does the own claim any ownership of this video. It is used under the Fair Use Act for educational purposes. The original video, without subtitles, can be found at YouTube:

IMPORTANT: I have added the subtitles for your understanding.

The above video is used under the Fair Use Act for teaching purposes for students of English who need help in understanding by being able to visually see the words and to train their ear for pronunciation and to know the spelling of the words for understanding and learning new vocabulary.

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