At first glance you might think such a movie title is just perfect for anyone interested in family history. Even though it is set in contemporary times it does offer some similar complex events faced by many of our ancestors or ourselves in parallel situations.
True, this is a Hollywood movie starring George Clooney, but it is a family story of individuals relating and dealing with other family members. There are several disasters that the main character, Matt King (played by Clooney) must suddenly confront.
His wife, who was serious injured in a boating accident, is dying and lying in a coma. A decision needs to be made of whether to pull the ‘plug’ to end his wife’s life. He is also now totally responsible for the care of his two young daughters whom he had not been close to while they were growing up.
Add to the list the continual dealings he has to go through with other relatives over the decision whether to keep hundreds of acres of land that had been handed down in the family lineage or take the present opportunity to sell the family land for a huge amount of money to be shared by all the family members.
“The Descendants” was originally a novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings which was adapted as a film. Its setting and where it was filmed were the beautiful islands of Hawaii. Matt King, as trustee for a pristine plot of land on Kauai has major decisions to make. Other relatives want the benefit of selling the land and each making a fortune.
This tragedy and comedy tale has the main character forced to reconnect with his daughters, deal with his wife’s medical situation and make a lasting final decision on the family’s land legacy. As in any good story there are some additional problems the character also has to handle.
The story reminds everyone the importance of family and any lasting legacy that has been handed down over the generations. We might not all have vast amounts of land to make a decision about, but more than likely a couple of our ancestors may have had a similar situation over just 20 acres. In the present-day, we are shown the importance of keeping and passing on those family heirlooms; jewelry, photos, dishes, quilts, certificates; anything that was once a part of an ancestor’s life.
We are all descendants and have our own stories and treasures to save, learn from and share.