Readers of this space know of my love for musicals. The Greatest Showman is a musical story of the life of P.T. Barnum. It is a different work from the Broadway musical Barnum. I enjoyed both.
The film tracks Barnum from his unsuccessful ventures through the establishment of his circus. (It makes you wish he were here to revive his circus, which is now out of business.) he recruits all kinds of freak acts and makes stars of them. This meets with great objections from the “proper” members of the community.
Eventually, Barnum brings jenny Lind to America and becomes the toast of society, but he has to return to his circus. Ultimately, he leaves his circus for his family.
By today’s standards, one might argue that Barnum is exploiting these performers, but they sing a song of gratitude to him for treating them like humans instead of freaks. It’s quite moving.
Can we treat people like people with dignity, no matter how they show up in our lives?
I recommend this movie.