Are Extraordinary Measures The Preserve Of Extraordinary People?

By Mari Schultz

Harrison Ford stars in the movie, Extraordinary Measures. The movie is adapted from the real life story of a couple who sacrificed everything they had to find an answer to their illness which is killing their children. The parents take the unusual action of helping to finance research into treating or better still finding a cure for the genetic disease. Is this an extreme action? How many parents would take radical steps to protect the health and happiness of their children?

Yes it is an unusual action and yes most parents would cover all options in looking for a cure or at the very least the best treatment possible for their child.

Extraordinary Measures was released at cinemas during the Month President Obama was sworn into office. The film is a representation of the new mood of optimism sweeping the country. The movie highlights in a positive way how individuals can stand up and be counted despite the odds stacked against them. It is a movie that is indeed heart warming in its portrayal of unconditional honest love of parents for their children.

The main theme is not about finding a miracle cure as it appears at face value. The main theme explores the many fears, prejudices and pressures placed upon parents living with children with illness and disability. It brings into the open, in a very Hollywood saccharine manner, an issue many families face at times of crisis, that of rediscovering the resilient human spirit.

Those already aware of the current health insurance debate in America will have noticed the sub text within the movie brings this issue to the fore. It highlights concerns most American have around health insurance and is a nod of the head in the direction of the new President who hopes to make changes to the current, failing health care system.

Somehow the movie also gives the impression that taking a stance against injustice and carrying on despite incredible hardship is solely an American trait. Most people live in hope of a better, more cohesive society. Without inspiration from those who do survive despite the incredible circumstances of their lives, people everywhere would not be able to carry on living in hope.

Single parents struggle, sometimes in poverty, to bring up health, happy children. The fact that many do so, some without support networks, is an achievement worthy of note. A married couple staying together through good times and bad times is a triumph of hope over cynicism. People with disabilities striving to live independent lives within societies which have little patience for those who can not keep pace and managing to do so with grace and optimism is hopeful. Children surviving war and abuse and going on to promote peace and non aggression inspire hope. Volunteering is an example of how many human beings give of their time and skills to others for the benefit of mankind. Many communities and charities would not survive without an army of volunteers.

In times of crisis people the world over take Extraordinary Measures to protect children, family life, community and society in general. Taking steps to look after those nearest and dearest without hurting anyone else in the process is to be applauded. A new era in the White House seems to have brought with it a certain amount of hope among Americans for a fairer future.

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