The film begins in Forrest's youth and journey's through his adult life where he meets his son who is born from Jenny and his one night romance. This film is about being who you are right where you are. Forrest must wear braces on his legs to correct the curve in his spine which leads to him being bullied. But it also leads to him getting a scholarship to the University of Alabama because he's had to learn to run fast from the bullies his entire youth. So he developed a skill out of the hardship of his life that provided the opportunity for him to advance in a way that didn't appear to be an option for him as he was slow mentally.
This film is then also about perseverance. That out of our trials we have the option to become the victim of them or keep living our life with curiosity. Forrest simply didn't know any better. He didn't understand that someone in his situation was supposed to be able to choose to get down on himself, he simply didn't have any of that ingrained in him. This is also a product of his relationship with his mother who supports him through his life to be part of things as if he were like everyone else rather than seeing him as handicapped which the rest of the world did. This allowed Forrest's point of view on life to be shaped in a way that allowed him to head directly into life rather than run away because he was "different."
Morality is another key theme with Forrest represents. He protects Jenny, he cherishes her even when she doesn't for herself, he goes to war and saves the lives of the men in his platoon without thinking "I could get killed" because it simply was the right thing to do, and the fact that he pays Bubba's mother his portion of the profits from Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Even though Bubba died, Forrest knows that without his idea he wouldn't have anything he does and he never forgets that. In a world so full of self-ambition and stepping over people to get to the top this film shows us that sometimes the best course of action is one that is right.
Now, it is not easy to navigate as the film may idealistically sway, but the importance of hope in the cinema is what makes Forrest Gump an important film in American filmmaking. The reality of life is that it is hard. But the way we choose to frame what we go through causes us to have opportunities and experiences occur in our lives that we would never have noticed if we were indulgent to believe that there was no hope for our lives. Forrest Gump gives us a reason to hope, a reason to continue to love one another even when we are full of faults, and that we all have a place in this world where we belong when we decide to see the world not as a place where we are beaten up and taken advantage of, but as one where we get to create life on our terms regardless of what the world does to us or says about us. Our life is ours to live; that is what this film is about.