Movies & Television

What Does The Wonder's 'Manna from Heaven' Mean?

If you’re looking to put your detective skills to the test before Glass Onion releases, then Netflix’s latest Florence Pugh-led mystery The Wonder may be the ticket for you and we explain what the phrase “manna from heaven” means.

The Wonder has already been nominated for 12 British Independent Film Awards this year, including Best Director and Best Lead Performance.

Directed by Sebastián Lelio, the period drama The Wonder follows Nurse Lib Wright, who is asked to tend to a girl who has not eaten for months within a rural village in 1862 Ireland, starring Pugh, Tom Burke, Elaine Cassidy, Kíla Lord Cassidy, Niamh Algar, Toby Jones, and Ciarán Hinds.

The Wonder | Official Trailer | Netflix

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The Wonder | Official Trailer | Netflix
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What Does “Manna from Heaven” Mean?

“Manna from heaven” refers to the food that God provided to the Israelites in the Exodus, after their supplies from Egypt were depleted. The gift was considered to be a miracle.

When Anna is asked how she has managed to stay alive for four months without eating, she insists that it is “manna from heaven” that keeps her nourished.

Similarly, the bible refers to “manna” as an edible substance and the term is also mentioned in the Quran.

In modern times, manna is also referred to as spiritual nourishment, however, a slightly different form of spelling, “mana”, also refers to a supernatural power that can be given or absorbed.

The phrase “manna from heaven” also means something good that has happened at precisely the right time.

The Wonder – Cr. Aidan Monaghan/Netflix © 2022

Is The Wonder Based on a True Story?

Yes, The Wonder is a Netflix adaptation of the 2016 book of the same name by Irish-Canadian writer Emma Donoghue, which in turn, was inspired by a true story.

Inspired by a real-life wonder, Donoghue took inspiration from the social phenomenon known as the “Welsh fasting girls.”

Based on many tales, The Wonder was influenced by this group of young girls who claimed they were able to go without eating for months. One Welsh girl, Sarah Jacob, actually died of starvation in 1869.

The Wonder – Cr. Aidan Monaghan/Netflix © 2022

  • MORE: Where was The Wonder Filmed? Netflix Filming Locations Explored
  • Is The Wonder Scary?

    No, The Wonder is not a scary film but there are moments of intensity combined with a general feeling of discomfort.

    Many interested parties are asking if The Wonder is scary because of the folk horror tone presented in the trailer. However, the adaptation does not fall under the horror genre.

    The Wonder exudes the heaviness and uncertainty of psychological horror, but it primarily falls under a mystery period drama. 

    For those looking for a parents’ guide, The Wonder is rated 15 or R for some sexuality, mild injuries, themes of death, and scenes referring to sexual abuse.

    The Wonder – Cr. Netflix, YouTube.

    By Jo Craig – [email protected]

    The Wonder is now streaming on Netflix.

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    Jo Craig
    @shingeekyjo

    Being a pop culture writer and a proud geek of all trades, Jo loves to dissect fandoms and marvel at their insides. The entirety of The Lord of the Rings, superhero origins, the Ghost of Tsushima score, the Wings of Freedom, and the endless search for a sleepy Tyranitar are but a few of Jo's passions, with a penchant for contributing to the geek culture community.

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