“The Girl Who Believes in Miracles” opens Easter weekend
Miracles happen and right on time.
Lawrence Jaffe, a 98–year–old, Jewish, first–time filmmaker, believes that, when it comes to such signs and wonders, timing is everything. “Well, first of all, I feel the timing of this movie is just right,” he said in an interview with SACONNECTS magazine.
“As we all know, it’s been a very difficult year during this pandemic. But this is an uplifting new movie. Just as with the work you do in The Salvation Army, we feel we supplement what you do. People who see this movie will feel good about God and about themselves and about life. We hope that there will be a lot of people who get that feeling from watching it.”
Closing the poverty gap
As executive producer of “The Girl Who Believes in Miracles,” Jaffe also hopes the film will help raise enough money to underwrite a major initiative he created to help disadvantaged kids in East Gainesville, Fla. “My dream is to close the gap in the income disparity that threatens the social fabric of our democracy,” he said. “That would truly be a miracle to me—and for so many others.”
“The Girl Who Believes in Miracles” is about young Sara Hopkins who hears a preacher say, “Faith can move mountains!” and so she starts praying. Her mustard–seed faith results in sick and disabled people in her town being mysteriously healed. But when word of her exploits spread, the crushing media and community attention she receives begins to take its toll. The question now becomes, Can her family protect her?
An all–star cast
“The Girl Who Believes in Miracles” stars Academy Award® winner Mira Sorvino (“Mighty Aphrodite,” “Do You Believe”) Austyn Johnson (“The Greatest Showman” and “The Post”), Kevin Sorbo (“Let There Be Light,” “God’s Not Dead”), and Emmy Award® winner Peter Coyote (“E.T. the Extra Terrestrial,” “A Walk to Remember”). The movie will be released Friday, April 2nd during Easter weekend.
Jaffe wants people to feel good after seeing this inspiring movie, but he also wants them to know that miracles actually happen. “Well, it turns out that there were a series of events that occurred that got me involved in this movie,” says the former Madison Avenue marketing expert and graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University.
Inspired by a true story
“I happen to have a partner who’s a script writer. He wrote a script as a result of a miracle that happened to his granddaughter who had a terrible heart disease. Doctors predicted that she only had months to live. But after prayers, she recovered and without medication. So, he had to write something to recognize what had happened to his granddaughter.”
However, more work was needed to truly develop the script. “We were fortunate enough to connect with Rich Correll, an excellent writer as well as a director. Rich rewrote the script and brought it to life. The story remains the same, but he put something special into it.
“So now, we have a very special movie that will make people feel good after seeing it. It appeals primarily to women and to their children. It’s just a wonderful movie for mothers to bring their kids to,” says Jaffe.
Jaffe, a World War II veteran, served in the Marine Corps and spent nine months in Nagasaki, Japan as part of a medical unit in the aftermath of the atomic bombings. Although he has seen his share of tragedy, what stands out most vividly in his memory was the miracle that saved his life.
A life–changing event
“I was in the Marine Corps and we were at an activity that had me walking down a railroad track. All of a sudden, I was lifted by some outward force and put on the station platform. Seconds later, an express train came down the very track I was walking on. My life was saved.
“I was a man of faith before that. But there, an action made my belief a fact. I now know without any doubt that there is a God, and that God is there to help us when we need it.”
Jaffe says “The Girl Who Believes in Miracles” is his Easter message to anyone who seeks a miracle today. “It’s a story that is so moving, it brings tears to the eyes of people who want to watch it. We have a wonderful story to tell about the wonders of Jesus Christ. This is a faith–based movie that demonstrates a lot of family values, family interaction, and love. We feel that we are coming out at just the right time.”
Expecting great things
In two years, Jaffe will have lived a century. Yet, his focus remains on the future. “At my advanced age, I have friends who are all living in a retirement community where the average age is 85 and I have lots of friends in their 90s. When we sit, they always talk about the lives that they’ve led; they’re looking backward. But I’m here with a movie that’s coming out and I’m looking forward.”
Jaffe, who is excited about having several more movies on the storyboard, is expecting even greater miracles. “To look forward and to expect good things to happen and to be optimistic is very important to the wellbeing of an individual.”
by Warren L. Maye
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