The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies is the perfect movie to watch on a rainy weekend like this… Especially if, perhaps, like me, you need to be reminded at times that many times evil comes in “normal,” or externally beautiful ways. Appearances are deceiving!
The movie, a BBC production based on real events, starring Jason Watkins,
is nothing short of extraordinary! His performance, so nuanced, I wondered how or whom did Watkins study to reach such perfection!
Jefferies, a retired school teacher of 34 years, whose “only fault” was eccentricity, is wrongly accused of murdering a young woman and hounded by media and misjudged by society on no real grounds.
A young man, who looked “normal” by the standards of our society, is overlooked at first but ultimately judged and punished as the real killer.
However, Jefferies life was already ruined: He was no longer welcomed to participate in activities dear and meaningful to him and many of those who befriended, turn their backs on him.
The emotional consequences are devastating! Jefferies, a kind, peaceful human being is forced to turn into a determined fighter in the name of ALL “the Jefferies” of the world, good people who are assumed guilty just because they are different from what our culture considers “normal.”
This masterpiece reminded me of the children’s Bear Family Book Series, specifically the book in which Mama Bear teaches the cubs about hidden dangers and deceiving appearances. She demonstrates how deceiving beauty could be by showing the cubs a beautiful, on the outside perfect, healthy apple. When she cuts it, the inside is brown and rotted…
There are many layers of messages in this exceptional movie, delivered through multiple channels of communication. Peter Morgan, who wrote it, delivered a powerful message, and each word is a jewel. However, Watkins’ acting is so nuanced, his facial expressions and body language so convincing, I felt I needed to watch the movie again and turn off the sound to focus on the images.
Next time I am tempted to judge “different” and assume it is “evil,” or “less,” or “wrong,” I will remember this movie which is based on true events. An official “Letter of Exonoration” is not enough to mend the tragic consequences of false accusations. It is easy to misjudge based on appearances and hard to ignore what our culture has taught us is normal!
HOW DO YOU DEFINE NORMAL?
Please share your opinion and/or story if you have a personal event when appearances were deceiving and led to unpleasant consequences. Food for thought…
Have a cozy weekend!
Rodica Mihalis, M.S. Counseling and Clinical Psychology
Life’s Crossroads and Wellness Coaching