The 32nd Santa Barbara International Film Festival has come to a close, and this year’s selection of films were as eye-opening and thought-provoking as one would expect. With locales spanning all across the globe, one film neatly packed 15 different backdrops into a vivid story that took us on the ride of a lifetime.
Told though the memories of a six-year-old, Given follows one unique family’s adventure to fulfill a calling handed down through generations. With their two young children in tow, legendary surfers Daize and Aamion Goodwin travel through 15 countries in every mode of transportation that you could imagine to untether themselves from the materialism of daily life. Welcoming faces, mesmerizing earthscapes and the elusive “big fish” captivate and invite viewers of all ages to ponder what happens when you focus on the present, discover and surrender.
“I purposefully choose to avoid any traditional drama arcs with the intent to engage and inspire the audience to view movies differently,” director Jess Bianchi states. “My hope for this film is that the viewer will be able to see the wisdom that comes from the eyes of a child and the guidance of a loved one.”
Several thematic revelations are woven throughout the Goodwin’s immersive and meditative journey. There is one that beautifully encompasses them all—”slow yourself down, and you will see so much more.”
Given will be available for digital purchase on March 4.
To read more about the film, visit giventhemovie.com.
—Victoria Tai Murphy