Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mormon Movie Review: ****Johnny Lingo (LDS Church 1969)

This is one of my favorites.  At home, Mahana is basically a servant, or worse than a servant.  We don't see Mahana's mother, but her father calls her, "Mahana, you ugly."  And that is who she is in her father's house, Mahana the ugly, who hugs the shadows of the hut.  However Johnny Lingo pays eight cows for her.  In the community a man can get a good wife for two or three cows, and excellent one for four or five, and never has there been an eight cow wife.  The local merchant assumes Johnny Lingo is just proud.  However he visits the home after they have been away for a year, and finds Mahana to be beautiful.  These are quotes from that meeting as Johhny Lingo explains the change.
Johnny Lingo: Think what it must mean to a woman, her future husband meeting with her father to discuss the lowest price for which she can be bought. And later, when the women of the village gather, they boast of what their husbands paid for them - three cows, or five. How does she feel, the woman who was sold for one, or two? This could not happen to my Mahana.
Trader Harris: Johnny, I've misjudged you. I thought you were thinking only of how important you would look to your friends, paying 8 cows for a wife. I didn't know you wanted to make Mahana happy.
Johnny Lingo: More than happy, Mr. Harris. I wanted her to be an eight-cow woman.
Trader Harris: I see. In her father's hut, Mahana believed she was worth nothing.
Johnny Lingo: Yes, and now she knows she is worth more than any other woman on the island.
 This is a lesson in self-worth, but also in how are actions are reflected in others.

The message is right on.  My only complaints have to do with the music and the acting.

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