RITA HAYFIELD & THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION WALK 16 BLOCKS
One of the greatest movies I've ever seen is the Shawshank Redemption starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. It's a story of hope, a story of the triumph of the human spirit, of the triumph of goodness and all that is true. Located inside a prison, it follows the life of Andy Dufreyne, a former financial adviser, wrongfully jailed for life for the offence of killing his wife.
A short while back, I came across another movie like that; the more modern 16 Blocks starring the musician, Mos Def and Bruce Willis. Mos Def, with an annoying nasal twang but with heart-breaking vulnerability, acts the part of a con who must travel 16 blocks from his holding cell to a law court to give evidence against corrupt cops. His sole protection is a fading cop (Bruce Willis) who is permanently drunk.
Two of the greatest movies ever made, I think.
Walking through the side streets of Yaba three weeks ago, I saw a Stephen King collection of short stories thrown on the dirt-floor alongside other books for sale. The first story in it was titled Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption. I had no idea that was the original title. In the book, Andy is not a tall man, he is raped in prison and the convict who could have gotten him out with the truth, is not killed as in the movie but transferred to another prison. Red (Morgan Freeman's part) is not a black man either.
Andy is afraid to break out even after completing the tunnel but in the end, he makes one of the greatest escapes in the history of books or in moviedom. I love the book too. It was brilliantly written.
So the human spirit will march on as long as there are stories like this. Thank you, Mr King, thank you, Mos Def and Bruce Wilis. My life has been further enriched by these tales and the goodness of the human heart shown in them.