Life is like a white canvas where the colour of actions project the painting of consequences. And deciding the course of action appears as the most difficult task when one’s mind is filled with confusion and doubts. This movie How to Make an American Quilt carries through a beautiful journey of Finn Dodd’s life where she diminishes all the doubts and fear from her mind by relating to the experiences of the members of the quilting bee. This movie was directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse in 1995, which is an adaptation of the novel How to Make an American Quilt by Whitney Otto.
“ You have to choose the combination carefully. The right choices will enhance your quilt while wrong choices will dull the colour and hide the original beauty. There are no rules to follow; you have to go by instinct- you have to be brave.” Said Ana (American Quilt 1995). This statement illustrates how the right choice in life can lead to a road to felicity and the inapt choice may embitter the life. The glimpse of the youth period of all those ladies emanates an image of real life love stories where the romantic notion of love is mixed with stark contrast of insecurity, dullness and infidelity. The most amazing character in this movie is of Anna, who has committed mistakes in her life but with her strength of character as she supported her child and moved through her life is acknowledgeable. Moreover, her instinct which carried her towards her soulmate reflects the clarity and stability of her mind. Her life is a perfect example of the impact of decisions on life. When she was young, she chose Beck as lover, which turned her life bitter but then her child Marianna came in her life turning misery into boon. It was then her heart realised the feeling of true love as she held her daughter in her arms. That connection she felt when she found her soulmate later in her life. So, truly it is dependent on our instinct to move forward with right choices as in the platter of life both sweet and sour food will be served.
In our own life also, many questions baffles our mind and fill it with doubts and insecurity. When we are enveloped by the fog of confusion, then it is essential to tame down all thoughts and follow the voice of inner soul. In a long life, it is not possible to always opt the correct path. At that time rather pondering on the fault it is necessary to gain experience to avoid repetition of miserable past in future. This can be viewed in Anna’s life, which gives an inspiration that despite miseries in life when one stands strong then can defy all troubles of life.
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This movie reminds of a poem named The Road Not Taken written by Robert Frost.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference. (Frost 3).
This poem reflects the uncertainty of mind that arises while making a decision. Both the options appear enticing but still that decision has a lingering effect on our lives. A wishful thinking remains that perhaps the road that had not been taken would have created a difference in life. Still, the guidance of instincts will take through the right path eventually. This movie ends with the note where everyone finds their peace of mind when they tried to understand the inside voice and respond to its calling. Also portrays that love erases all bitterness from life. This is applicable to all our lives and truly love can only turn this world to a better place to live.
How to Make an American Quilt. Dir. Jocelyn Moorhouse. Perf. Winona Rodd, Anne Bancraft, Ellen Burstyn, Maya Angelou, Dermot Mulroney, Jared Leto. Universal Pictures, 1995. DVD.
Frost, Robert. Mountain Interval. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1920. Print.