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I saw Hannah Montana.  I’m not ashamed of it.  In fact, I learned a few things and there were several things I liked about the film.

1)      It brings the duality many children face (due to pervasive digital media and online communication) to bear.  The issue of negotiating identity is an issue that social networking has challenged for children and teens.  Digital Youth Research has done a great deal of research in this area and you can look at their findings at http://digitalyouth.ischool.berkeley.edu/

2)      It has a great message about finding out who you really are and throwing aside the façade. In fact, Hannah says in the movie, “I can’t do this anymore.”  I will probably attack this issue in subsequent posts since I’m reading a great book right now on developing character.

3)      It’s a pretty wholesome movie.  It’s funny and endearing.  Yes, it is cheesy and girlie and far-fetched.  But there are some real ties to bigger ideas and issues.

4)      One of the big issues it raises (outside of identity) is the whole idea of “the climb.” Because I’m a sucker for music, I try to read into songs that can capture theological concepts.  “The Climb” is a song that I think captures the Wesleyan idea of provenient grace.  Provenient grace is a way of describing salvation and sanctification in terms of a climb or journey.  In light of provenient grace, the issue of “when” a child or adults gets “saved” becomes irrelevant.  When I thought about the song in this light, I’m sorry to admit – but God kind of did something right there in the theater and I actually cried a few tears.  I told you – I’m a sucker for music (and the Holy Spirit).

You really should go see the movie just to get a taste of what kids are facing.  There’s plenty to mine in the movie and I welcome any comments!