Every now and then you come across a movie that just warms your heart and leaves you feeling as cozy and full as a plate of apple pie. This is one such film for me.
I’d Climb the Highest Mountain is a color film shot in location in the northern hills of Georgia which follows a newly married minister and his city wife who are assigned to this rural location in 1910. It is based on a (semi- autobiographical) novel by Corra Harris.
When Reverend William Thompson bring his new wife home to their first assignment she is eager yet unprepared for living in such an isolated area. This is a woman who not only doesn’t know how to cook, but also has her own doubts about her husband’s God. Yet, she makes every effort to contribute to her community and support her husband’s work.
Bill Thompson is the kind of man that almost no one could find fault with. He is generous with his time and resources, patient with his wife and wayward members of his congregation and yet he is not so perfect as to be annoying. No, he occasionally loses his temper, meddles in his neighbor’s business and even bets and races horses (although the bet is only to bring a lost sheep into the fold.) In other words, he’s the kind of minister I think many can relate to because he is human, as is his wife who never tries to camouflage her own failings.
The impact these two make on their community in their daily service is significant and yet not made obvious to them until the end. These two serve and sacrifice not for glory or out of duty, but simply because it is the right thing to do and in the end they find that they have been just as blessed by their community as the community has been by them.
As I already mentioned, I’d Climb the Highest Mountain was filmed on location and there are some beautiful shots of the Georgia countryside. Along with the scenery, this film is shot in such a way as to make you feel as if you are experiencing the history and people of the region for yourself. You can imagine the red dirt roads leaving its’ film all over your clothes and the pleasure of an unexpected visit from a neighbor, or the terror of disease ripping through an isolated region with only one doctor.
I wonder if we have completely lost the relationships and camaraderie of an earlier time. A time when neighbors helped each other without grudge, when people came together for the simple pleasures of a picnic on a summer day, enjoying games and watermelon, or to spend their time putting together Christmas stockings for less fortunate children simply out of care and concern. Even more, I wonder if we are past the time where people serve others out of the goodness of their heart with no wish for accolades or repayment. I think not. I hope not. But in the meantime, I believe as this film does, that even one or two people can make a difference and do it with love regardless of the cost to self.