What Do FH and Captain Marvel Have in Common?

It’s that time of year again! Blockbuster films are hitting theaters and among those is “Captain Marvel.”

Last month, my husband and I saw the latest Marvel movie, “Captain Marvel,” and thoroughly enjoyed it. We snacked on popcorn and slurped down an Icee as the comedic moments and action sequences flew by on the screen. But as the plot and major themes unfolded, I couldn’t help but notice something. There were topics in the movie that related to the work I am so fortunate to be a part of at Food for the Hungry (FH). You might be wondering how a superhero movie has anything to do with the work of an international nonprofit organization. So, let’s talk about it!

Warning, there are spoilers for the movie ahead.

Stories Behind the Faces

The initial conflict in the plot is the war between the Kree and the Skrulls. Captain Marvel, or Carol Danvers, begins her character journey in the film fighting for the Kree. She had developed passionate opinions about the Skrulls. She formulated her opinions without ever having a conversation with a Skrull or learning more about who they are.

There is a moment when Carol has a face-to-face conversation with a Skrull and learns his story. She hears his story of how he had to flee from violence in his homeland. This violence had left all of his people seeking refuge in a safe place that they have yet to find. It was at this moment that she took action to help the Skrulls.

The story of Guljar Ktlahu, a 65 year-old woman who is a Rohingya refugee living in Camp 5, EE-5 block. This is the story of how she and her family fled from Myanmar and now live in the Kutupalong camp, where she now describes the flood rains and their impact on her family's living conditions.

Guljar’s Story

The Skrulls’ story is fundamentally similar to stories like Guljar’s. Guljar along with her son lived in a small riverside town in Myanmar, predominantly populated by the Rohingya people. One day, violence broke out in her community, forcing her family to leave everything and flee from their home. She went to a relative’s house not far off, but unfortunately, the same conflict that took place in her community happened in her relative’s community only a couple of days later.

Her young adult son and another family member were killed in the crossfire. The rest of her family continued to run for their lives and ended up in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. Guljar never wanted to leave her home, she was driven out by violence. She lost loved ones, her home, her livelihood and resources, and so much more.

Guljar and her story account for one in the 25.4 million people who are refugees in our world today. Each and every one of these individuals, these image-bearers, have a story. Captain Marvel reminds each of us, powers aside, that we can take the time to hear their stories and help, however, we are able.

Resilience and Strength

Another inspiring scene is the montage of Carol Danvers falling down and getting back up, over and over again. The scenes take place throughout her life, and each time, no matter how hard the fall, she stands back up.

This shows us the importance of resilience. One definition of resilient is, “recovering readily from illness, depression, adversity or the like, buoyant.” On a daily basis, I read stories from the communities FH works in. Each of these stories usually contains hardship and adversity that many of us cannot begin to wrap our heads around, such as not having access to clean water or enough food. At FH, we recognize the importance of coming alongside people to ensure their basic human needs are being met. And, we equip families and communities in building resilience for when a disaster or crisis hits.

Carol Danvers becomes Captain Marvel through her ability to get back up each time she was knocked down. She had the strength, the resources, and the HOPE to get back up and try again. The people we walk with around the globe display incredible strength. We are working together to build an infrastructure of resilience to see each individual reach their God-given potential and to stand even stronger in the times of extreme hardship.

The Value of Women

A group smiling kids

Captain Marvel is a strong, educated, and caring female lead, that makes just as much, if not more of a positive difference as her fellow male superheroes in the Marvel Comic Universe. (She is really powerful). It is exciting to see an entire movie showcasing and celebrating the strength of women! 

One of the many aspects of our work at FH focuses on gender equality. We are striving to see a world where girls and boys have the same educational opportunities. Where little girls can dream about the future, rather than worrying about walking a far distance to collect water for their families multiple times a day. Where women have the tools and know-how to use their gifts and talents to start that small business they have been thinking about. “Captain Marvel” touches on some challenges women have faced in the past, and some that are still ongoing.

If you would like to learn more about the work that FH is doing around the world, visit https://www.fh.org/our-work/.