Movie Scenes that Wreck Me – Looking at what moves you as a path to self-knowledge.

There is a scene in Star Wars: The Last Jedi that took my breath away. I got a lump in my throat, a tightness in my chest and I wanted to cry. After seeing the movie a second time with the same reaction (Don’t judge! I know people who have seen it many more times than me!) I started thinking of all the movie scenes that wreck me. There are a handful that even talking about them I can get choked up. I started wondering if they had something in common. So I began watching a bunch of them on YouTube and I think there is a connection. There is something about sacrifices and making the hard choices that stirs emotions deep inside of me that I can’t explain. There is something about digging deep down inside you and pulling up all the courage you have to do what you think it right regardless of the consequences. The scenes are heart wrenching as well as awe inspiring. Which leads to the question, What does this say about me? What inside of me makes me become so captivated by these scenes? These scene have impacted me so much they never leave my memory. But first, I’d like to share some of these scenes because, well, they are awesome. Really, really awesome. (Course that’s my opinion.)

Warning!!!! Below are serious spoilers to movies. I have the title before the description and the link to the scene on YouTube. So, if you haven’t seen the movie and still want to, just keep scrolling to the next paragraph.

So here we go!

“Movies that Wreck Me” in no particular order.

For reals, there be spoilers ahead…


Star Wars The Last Jedi – 2017

Seriously, if you haven’t seen the movie, just keep scrolling…

Holdo’s Sacrifice – The surviving rebels are getting away in escape hatches which won’t be detected by the First Order’s Fleet. Holdo has stayed behind on the last remaining rebel ship to mislead the First Order fleet. The escape hatches are discovered by a betrayal of someone and the First Order starts shooting them one by one like fish in a barrel. Holdo sees what is happening and knows she must do something. So she turns the ship around so she is facing the First Order fleet. And from there, she jumps in to light speed straight into the First Order fleet. The sacrifice is heroic. The way it is filmed is stunning as the scene is completely silent amplifying the idea of light speed while the First Order fleet is spilt into pieces. Takes my breath away every time.

The clip is very short, just showing the jump into light speed.


The Abyss – 1989

The Drowning Scene – In this scene, Lindsey and Bud are stuck in a damaged mini-sub quickly filling with water. They need to get back to the main ship. There is only one diving suit. So Lyndsey decides the best solution is to let herself drown/enter deep hypothermia allowing Bud to wear the diving suit and swim while dragging her back to the main boat where they can revive her. He is the stronger swimmer of the two and it seems to be the best chance for them both to survive. Lyndsey drowning while Bud watches is so painful. He is completely helpless in the situation. And her fear is overwhelming.  It is a huge sacrifice that, in the end, pays off.


Kick Ass – 2010

Big Daddy Death Scene – So, yeah, this clip is super violent. It’s a super violent movie all around. If you don’t like violence, just skip watching this clip. Basically, Big Daddy and Kick Ass have been caught by the bad guys who are live streaming beating the crap out of them. With both of them tied to chairs in front of the camera, it is basically a live execution. They’ve poured gasoline all over the heroes and are just about to light them on fire when the guy with flame is suddenly shot in the head and the lights go out. Enter Hit-Girl, Big Daddy’s daughter who has come to save the day. With her dark vision glasses she begins killing all the bad guys. One of the bad guys lights Big Daddy on fire allowing for light in the room. This completely throws off Hit-Girl. Now her dark vision glasses are useless, she has been exposed, and her dad is burning alive. Big Daddy sees the situation for what it is and yells at her to take cover. Then, even while he is burning alive, he begins yelling commands to her which she understands from all their hours of training. Through his commands, he guides his daughter to victory and safety, all the while enduring the flames. Even thinking of this scene gets to me. My husband makes fun of me, saying the commands like Nicolas Cage. And even when he is making fun of me, his saying the commands gets me choked up.

Again, SUPER VIOLENT. You have been warned.



The English Patient – 1996

Euthanasia Scene – Badly burned and living with the guilt of his love having died alone in a cave, The English Patient asks his nurse, Hanna, to end his suffering by pushing more morphine vials toward her as she prepares his required dose for pain. She realizes what he is asking, pauses, and then begins opening the other vials in preparation for overdosing him. This scene makes me cry every time. Sometimes it’s when he pushes the vials toward her. Sometimes it’s when she breaks down crying with the realization of what she is about to do. It’s a situation where Hanna makes the tough call, doing what is right despite how she feels about it.

By the way, there is another scene that gets me every time in this movie, as it does most women. In fact, I think every woman I know who has seen this movie knows exactly what I’m talking about right now. Quite steamy. If you’re interested, YouTube “The English Patient Happy Christmas”

I apologize for the quality of this clip.


Dead Poet’s Society – 1989

Oh Captain my Captain! – I can’t have a list of movies without Robin Williams. On the day Robin Williams died, on my way home I stopped for cheese, crackers and a bottle of wine. I munched, drank wine and cried as I watch Dead Poet’s Society. There are two movies I go to when I need a good cry, The English Patient and Dead Poet’s Society. What wrecks me about this scene is the pain on Ethan Hawks face and the kindness and love in Robin Williams’ face.  It is Todd (Ethan Hawk), the character most scared and withdrawn in the movie, that first breaks the silence to tell Mr. Keating that they didn’t want to blame him. The school made them. And then it is Todd, again, who takes the brave move to stand up and salute the teacher who has changed his life so much in the most perfect way. The swelling music helps as well.


Dead Poet’s Society – 1989

The Barbaric Yawp – I love seeing people grow. I love seeing people have aha moments. I love seeing people learn how beautiful they are. I love seeing people learn their value. This scene encompasses all of this. When Todd (Ethan Hawk) lets his boundaries down and begins reciting poetry from his heart and Mr. Keating crouches down in awe at the shining student before him, I always catch my breath. And when Mr. Keating says, “Don’t you forget this,” I get teary eyed. It’s a beautiful scene.


And I know they aren’t movies, but I can’t have a list of scenes that wreck me without a little Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 6 Finale – 2002

Xander saves Willow – Willow has gone evil after the murder of her love, Tara. After much evil destruction and betrayal of friends, Willow decides the only solution is to destroy the world. Enter Xander, her oldest friend. Through his love and friendship and, frankly, just being Xander, he is able to reach her. He is able to crack the protective emotionless wall she created trying to avoid her grief. In the end, she collapses crying, overwhelmed by her grief as Xander holds her. (Getting teary eyed just typing it. *sigh*)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Finale – 1998

Buffy Kills Angel – The final battle scene between evil Angelus and Buffy. In this clip is the added bonus of seeing where Buffy finds her personal power after Angelus has stripped her of everything and thinks he has her cornered. Then the battle continues until, suddenly, Angelus turns back into Angel, Buffy’s soul mate. His soul has been magically returned by Willow’s magic. But it’s too late. The portal to doom has been opened and the only thing that can close it is the death of Angelus/Angel. Buffy’s choice is heart wrenching and courageous. With tenderness AND conviction, she slays the surprised Angel, saving the world. Sarah Michelle Geller is wonderful in this scene. Makes me want to watch the whole series again.


What do all these scenes say about me? I have to admit, I feel a little vulnerable opening this door to my inner self to all of you, my fellow Yogi Nerds. But I think being vulnerable is how we grow. So, what do the movie scenes say about me? It took me a long time to figure this out. I’ve written this paragraph three times figuring it out. In the end, I think these scenes touch a belief I have always had – that love is the most powerful thing in the world. And not just romantic love, but the love that unites us as human beings. In each scene, the character is a hero through the power of this love. This power we have to reach out and heal each other. The power of human love that will make us risk our own life, even sacrifice, for the sake of others. It is that love that compels Todd to stand on his desk; a love so powerful that the other students stand with him. It is that love that compels Hanna to give The English Patient the peace he needs. It is that love that gives Lindsey and Bud the strength to do the unthinkable. And it is that love that allows Mr. Keating to see the beauty in Todd and push him to the edge to find it. I got the same feeling when I heard some of the stories from the Las Vegas shooting. I get the same feeling when I hear a story of someone going above and beyond to help someone who hasn’t even asked. This human connection gives us courage and strength to do what we never thought we could do. It turns us into heroes. And I think that is a beautiful thing.

What movies scenes have captivated you? Indulge in an afternoon of YouTube watching these memorable scenes. Is there a pattern? What does it mean for you? Have fun!

P.S. – If you feel the same way I do, check out the podcast “Kind World.” Short, sweet and beautiful episodes.

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I am a yoga and meditation teacher, energy healer and I teach Enneagram workshops. I'm here to help people grow and find their true selves.

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