Ever since we first viewed the 2007 film Bella, I’ve paid attention to Eduardo Verástegui and the projects with which he’s been involved. Bella tells the story of an international soccer star (José played by Verástegui) whose life takes a sharp turn that abruptly ends the man’s career. As the movie begins, he’s working as a cook in a restaurant.Lest I ruin the pleasure you’d have in watching this film, I won’t provide more details. It is well worth viewing. The movie earned multiple awards and honors, and though it didn’t fare well in reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, audiences liked it well enough to reward the film with RT’s Golden Tomato award.
Back in a post from November of 2013, I referenced a man, Nick Vujicic, who worked with Verástegui on another project, the 2009 short film The Butterfly Circus. This twenty-minute film (available for viewing on YouTube) is set during the Great Depression and centers around the transformative experience of a man with no arms or legs who is part of a carnival show … one of the carnival’s “freak” exhibits. Like Bella, The Butterfly Circus is an inspirational, feel-good story – and you can watch it for free!
Verástegui is involved in a new full-length project currently in theaters, Little Boy, a story set during World War II. Again, the Rotten Tomatoes reviews are less than impressive but the audience ratings are quite high. Verástegui and his associated film-makers have a knack for making films that resonate with audiences.
Reading about the Little Boy film, I found another short film from 2012. Crescendo is an understated and bare-boned fifteen-minute film (with subtitles) produced by Verástegui, Pattie Mallette (Justin Bieber’s mother), Leo Severino and Jason Jones. The short film has won numerous international awards and is based in history. The entire film is presented below. I think it’s beautiful and joyous, another feel-good project but not sappy.
There are some groups that claim Crescendo as a pro-life vehicle. Yes, in the sense that it tells the human story, the film is boldly pro-life … but it’s so much more than that! There’s no political or religious agenda being promoted. The film is simply an unflinching celebration of life, the goodness and beauty of living and embracing life! Whether you’re pro-life or not, if you love your life, I think you’ll find the film enjoyable. If you’re a lover of history and music, this movie gently strums all the right notes.
For myself as a Christian, I definitely found deeper meaning in the story. God’s grace and merciful care are exquisitely depicted … if you choose to notice. In a world that sometimes appears random and happenstance, God is always there … even when we fail to recognize Him.