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December 6, 2018

My father used to tell me every holiday season, that on first release (December 25, 1946) Frank Capra’s film, It’s a Wonderful Life, received mediocre reviews, was a financial flop, and didn’t receive a single Oscar. In fact, it wasn’t until the year of my birth (1954) that It’s a Wonderful Life hit its stride. After explaining this to us for the umpteenth time, like clockwork, our family would watch it again. Together. Dang. I miss him. And depending on where I was in my human evolution the movie would mean something different to me. (I do wish I could go back and apologize for my teenage years when I rolled my eyes and said things like “stupid” and “cheesy.” Sorry dad. Truly.)

This year it feels BIG that I get to direct it. Not just for nostalgic reasons but because WE need it. Increasingly, it seems, we live in a world where the demonization of the other is the norm and our beautiful crayon box has shrunk to only two colors. I need to believe, that in America, the true value of It’s a Wonderful Life has been recognized. It won’t make your everyday troubles go away, but hopefully, it’ll remind you that kind acts, both big and small, do ripple. And to cherish your life, your family and friends. And to remember, like the early life of the movie, you never know when failure will shift and evolve into the biggest triumph of your life.

Happy Holidays, y’all.

Beth Harper

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