When it comes to memorable fact based stories, the feel good movie, McFarland USA, is at the top of my list.
This heartwarming film is filled with much emotion that had me on the edge of my seat. It exposes viewers to the differences of two different cultures and how they come together and share a life long bond.
McFarlard, USA tells the story of Jim White (Kevin Costner) a football coach that was recently fired from what he believes is his ideal job. He then lands a position in a community that seems less than his usual standards. Jim White and his family relocate to McFarland, an economically challenged town in the Central Valley of California.
Almost immediately White is humbled in his new position and way of living. McFarland is an agricultural town and the families in the town spend a great deal of time working in the fields.
While observing his students inside and outside of school White discovers that some of these students can ran at very fast speeds. White decides to do what may seem impossible. He decides to establish a track team. Not only does he establish a track team, he promises his new team they will be a winning team and will all attend college; in which all of this seems to be impossible to the students, their parents, administrators and competitors.
As White and his team set out to do the impossible, they embark on a remarkable life changing journey for the entire town.
White and his family are welcomed into the community and learn much about the culture. There are many touching scenes in this movie but, the most touching scene was when White is told by one of the father’s that his boys cannot run track because, they have to get up before school to work in the fields. White respects the father’s reasoning and thanks the man for his hospitality and leaves. The next morning as the boys head out to the worker truck, for their morning shift before school, they are surprised to see Coach White in the back of the pick up truck ready for work. As he does this back breaking work, he begins to have a better understanding of the people of McFarland and their work ethic. From that moment on the story begins to unfold into a heartwarming journey.
While bringing together different cultures the film depicts community, loyalty, strength, heart, optimism, courage, family and a little bit of swagger.
Kevin Costner does an amazing job playing the role of Jim White. In a recent interview Costner said, he is actually from Visalia, a town in the Central Valley and he actually had the opportunity to play against McFarland while in high school. Talk about irony.
This film delivers a great since of unity between different cultures and shows the strength and greatness of the Latino community.
McFarland USA opens in theaters February 20th
Disclosure: Product compensation was received in exchange for review.
Don’t be afraid to be free!!!