I started a group that meets monthly to watch independent films that are not widely released. I purchase these films by subscribing to http://www.filmmovement.com. In two and a half years the best one we’ve seen is The Drummer. It is a true treasure from Hong Kong.
It is about an angry young man, who is the son of a gangster, and he makes outrageously bad choices. He is a genius for getting himself into trouble with his dad’s gangster competition, and he has to leave Hong Kong to live in Taiwan. There he stumbles into a group of drummers who live in a monastery. His arrogance continues to get him into trouble and he is completely mystified when asked to carry a bag of rocks around the mountain they live on. It is breath-taking to witness his transformation.
His story left me considering how so many young people have lost their way. They stop believing in themselves when they’ve hardly begun to know what it means to build character and define a life. To live life well is to understand we have to carry a bag of rocks, that’s part of the deal. This is the beginning of building character. Character is not yelling at a parent because they give you cash to buy gas, instead of the credit card and you’re angry that cash means you have to walk inside to pay. Entitlement and narcissism are the twin dangers ahead for our youth and they are embodied in the drummer’s outrageous behavior in the beginning of the this story.
I lend the movie out, despite the fact it might be someone’s first movie with subtitles. It is a story of one young man’s journey. Staying open to the opportunities of life, which may mean not finishing college, pursuing two or three different career ideas, or finding love in another country. Life holds a lot of surprises. Stories of transformation are inspiring because they’re possible for all of us.