With the family heading off to Mexico the following day Vic Casella Mike Connors suggests his daughters Celia Stephanie Zimbalist and Amy Katy Kurtzman take the day off but they have plans at school so head off. But when the rickety school bus which Celia is on stalls over a train track a train ploughs into them killing many of the students. Celia survived but she has to have a leg amputated and was left in a coma due to severe head trauma which when she comes around it is discovered she has amnesia and aphasia.
Whilst Celia struggles with the loss of her leg she doesn't give up and learns to talk and walk again. But the accident takes it out of everyone including Vic who feels helpless whilst his wife Laura Cloris Leachman does her best to keep Celia's spirits up whilst dealing with a distance which is forming between her and Vic as he keeps things to himself. Now since "Long Journey Back" was made there have been other TV movies which cover similar stories, some of which are also based on true stories, but as such it has to be said watched now "Long Journey Back" not only is expectedly dated but has been surpassed by more recent movies which do a better job of covering the similar points that this tries to cover.
The points which "Long Journey Back" tries to cover is initially Celia's recovery as she goes from coma to being able to walk and talk again. Unfortunately it doesn't do a good job of establishing the duration of recovery and we jump from that initial realisation that Celia understands some things to being able to speak and walk. We also don't see if there are any obstacles to over come in order for Celia to return to school. Now in fairness there is a reason for this as "Long Journey Back" is more about the people than the recovery and as such we get to see how Celia copes with her situation from refusing to accept she lost her leg, frustration over trying to talk and also a sense of embarrassment when it comes to a young man being interested in her.
But we also see Vic's story as he feels helpless and guilty because he couldn't help his daughter and that sense of failing as a dad cause issues in his marriage to Laura. It covers the points but again seems unable to truly deliver the depth that these points deserve.
Despite that the performances of Stephanie Zimbalist and Mike Connors are very good and less melodramatic than these roles would be in more recent TV movies. What this all boils down to is that "Long Journey Back" is an interesting movie especially when you compare it to more recent similar movies.
But whilst dated and understandably inferior than some modern movies it is worth watching purely for the climax which puts everything in to context. Having been told by her sister to get the bus home after school 11 year old Brooke Ellison Vanessa Marano, Lacey Chabert was swayed by her friends and walked with them. Unfortunately there was a traffic accident on the way home an From the Soviet Union, Ukraine inherited a bankrupt welfare state. It was deeply vested in the Soviet mentality, which translated into extreme inefficiencies.
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In the post-Soviet years, the country did little to dismantle this failing welfare state and it never whole-heartedly embraced economic reforms. As a result, the newly born nation lost faith in its government. That is why I never seriously considered returning.
I knew there was no place for me in such an economic system. So I started my professional career in Prague, working for a major law firm that assisted the Czech Government in adopting EU laws and in its move toward the European Union.
It was an amazing dynamic for a nation rising quickly from the ruins of communism. Every Saturday, he appeared in public to discuss the reforms and the new direction of the country. But there was the promise of a better future.
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Back then, I also wanted my fellow Ukrainians to experience this promise. The Internet was still new then and it never felt as amazing as it did in those early years. First, I worked as a lawyer. This was exciting stuff.
I then joined Microsoft and, in , left the U. Some call Akamai the backbone of the Internet. As I said, this was all very exciting stuff. Still, I was never so thrilled as when I returned to Ukraine to join the new government this year. I had seen the world and been integrated into it.
It was now time for me to return to where it all began and to give something back to Ukraine. I left London and in early February hit the ground running. After 20 years of working on the cutting edges of technology, I felt I had been given a chance to contribute my knowledge and experience to the country that gave me my start. Adjusting was hard. But I drew inspiration from my fellow volunteers who also were giving freely of their time and expertise. It was there that I met Ivan Miklos, a prominent reformer from Slovakia.
It was also then that Mr. Miklos told me that a risky plan is better than a hopeless one. I became determined to make our risky attempt at reforms succeed, rather than stick to the hopeless economic path we had inherited.
Long Journey Back (TV Movie ) - IMDb
Everything was new and it took me several weeks to understand the dynamic. What was worse, the country lacked a unified economic reform strategy. There was a collection of approaches and proposed measures designed to facilitate doing business in the country. However, it was not yet clear what type of economy we are building in Ukraine. Ideally, to get anywhere first public sector personnel policies would be dramatically reformed. We still have many old functions inherited from the days of State Planning. In many ways, our old system of governance remains intact—absorbing and swallowing energetic volunteers and making them attend old-style meetings or spend hours chasing numerous signatures for approvals, and perpetuating the routines of an outdated administrative machine.
Bringing in new blood is still harder than it should be. Moreover, it is my strong belief that at this time Ukraine must embrace a bold, liberal, economic agenda.