Gifted Hands

(CCC, BBB, Cap, V, M) Very strong Christian worldview where children are encouraged to apply the gifts God has given them, and with God’s help overcome anger and prejudice, plus some pro-capitalist content; no offensive language; two brief scenes of violence, one is an attempted stabbing, deeply repented of, plus some scenes of medical procedures may be disturbing to children; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, teenage rebellion is dealt with and overcome. SUMMARY: GIFTED HANDS: THE BEN CARSON STORY is one of the best made-for-television movies ever produced.

It is the true story of a black child raised by a single mother who constantly encouraged him to use his God-given gifts. He grows from being a poor student to the top of his class and then to become a world-famous neurosurgeon. It would be hard not to be inspired by this movie. As the story begins, Ben (played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. ) is asked to attempt a surgery to separate German Raush twins conjoined at the backhead. The movie then flashes back (1961) to show when Ben (as a child played by Jaishon Fisher) was such a poor student, he failed to get a single answer right on a test.

He is unmercifully ridiculed by his white classmates, one of whom he hits in the mouth after closing his locker. His mother Sonya (Kimberly Elise) is then called to the principal’s office as a consequence. Ben’s mother responds by insisting to Ben and his brother that they are not stupid and that they have gifts given to them by God that they need to nurture. She also limits their television viewing and requires them to read in the library. Ben’s grades gradually rise until he becomes the best student in his school.

At an awards ceremony, his success is recognized, but a teacher berates his white classmates for letting a black child from a broken home do better than them. This hurt Ben’s feelings. In 1965, he studied classical music and paintings. Sonya moves to a school district where Ben is among more black students. Ben begins to rebel. In a fit of anger, he tries to stab his best friend, but the blade to his knife breaks on the boy’s belt buckle. Ben comes home and cries out to God for help in overcoming his temper. One Sunday morning, Sonya won’t get up in her bed and seemed like bothered with something.

In the church, Ben hears the story of a missionary doctor and decides to pursue a career in medicine. He even imagined that he was that doctor. Repeatedly, Ben has to overcome prejudice to be able to let the gifts God has given him blossomed. After 4 years (1969), he went to Yale University to study for his college. He met here his girlfriend & wife, Candy (Aunjanue Ellis) who was a musician specializing violin. Few days, before his finals, he had a hard time in studying chemistry. Candy cheered him up and one night, he had an imagination while he was in their room.

There was a professor writing the formula and then later disappeared. After that, he heard a voice saying that he should finish the formula so he went to a table to see a book. It magically disappeared and his mother said to him “You don’t need a book; you have it inside you. ” In the morning, he had arrived late and he was shocked that the exam is all about the formula in his imagination. The result of his exam, however, is 97 marked as A. In 1976, he applied for internship. The interviewer was impressed in him. Still, discrimination was observed.

One evening, he had his first attempt in surgery for a boy from an accident. Because of this, his head at first, nagged on him but later, congratulated him for having success in the surgery. It’s like a miracle. In 1985, a girl was taken in their hospital. It was said that she already had taken around 35 medications. Bennie was then asked to do the operation on the girl. He studied and had formulated the idea of removing one hemisphere of the brain so that he can cure the child. But, it can cause some complications such as losing the ability of the girl to speak.

The surgery had gone from 6:15am to 4:22pm. The result was the girl can still speak. On the other hand, he, having a family with two kids, had a mansion house. That time, his wife was also pregnant and they expected for twins but unfortunately, the babies died. Two years after, in Johns Hopkins Hospital, he had done the surgery of the conjoined twins which was the sign of the end of the flashback part of the movie. In the operating room, he had 50 members consisting of a group of people who’ll do the anaesthesia, neurosurgeon, plastic surgeon, and cardiac specialists.

The suggested way was to stop the beating of the heart so that exsanguinations can be prevented. September 5, 1987 is the date of the operation. They started at 7:15am. At 12:19a the following day, the beating of the heart stopped and an hour of the operation will start to countdown. 27 minutes left, they started reconstructing after separating the two babies. Five minutes before the time ends, the first baby had been completed.

Few seconds left, Benjamin had lost his hoped in operating the other baby. He, again, had an imagination which made him to do his best to let the baby also survived. The beating of the heart had been generated and started again. The operation ended at 5:15am of Sept 6 went well and Raush couples thanked him a lot. The message of this movie is that by focusing on God’s will for your life you can become the very best you can be and will become God’s agent in ministering to others. Rather than settling in to a life believing he was inferior, underprivileged and discriminated against, Ben looked to God for help and became an astounding example, not just for black children, but also for everyone.

The people who made this movie are to be commended for so clearly showing that God has the cure for self-doubt, anger and prejudice. GIFTED HANDS is a great, inspirational family movie. Rather than settling in to a life believing he was inferior, underprivileged and discriminated against, Ben looked to God for help and became an astounding example, not just for black children, but also for everyone. The people who made this movie are to be commended for so clearly showing that God has the cure for both self-doubt and prejudice.

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