Much hype has been given to some films this past few months and I wanted to offer my own opinions and recommendations for all of you. The films “Moses: Gods and Kings”, “Unbroken” and “American Sniper” were released toward the end of December. Of these three films, Maly and I went to see “Unbroken”, a film chronicling the life of Louis Zamperini, a WWII American hero who was able to survive great odds in his life, including being shut down in the Pacific Ocean, facing sharks and ultimately facing a worse enemy, man, in a Japanese concentration camp. This is a film about the faith of a man, who gives his life to the Lord and promises to serve him if he survived. A promise he fulfilled after the war, returning to Japan and serving there. The words his brother spoke to him when they were both children will forever remain with me, “If you can take it, you can make it.” These words are so true in so many areas of our lives. I highly recommend this film to all of you.
A second film she and I went to see, was a special showing of “American Sniper.” The story of Chris Kyle, an American soldier who served four tours of duty in Iraq. He is credited with saving an enormous number of lives in combat as a sniper or sharp shooter. He was considered a legend among his pears and the greatest sharp shooter in the history of this nation. It is a film about patriotism and love of country, a film about personal sacrifice and the giving of oneself for a cause greater than one man. You will leave the theater with a greater understanding of the sacrifices our soldiers go through in the war in the Middle East today. It is also about how great the human spirit can rise. I highly recommend this film as well.
We have not gone to see, yet, “Moses: Gods and Kings”, so I cannot give you my personal recommendations, however, the comments I have read about this film are not very favorable and is true to the biblical story only in passing and the mention of some of the same names. I recently read an article in Biblical Archeology Magazine, here is an excerpt of that article: “It is beyond me to understand why one of the most action-packed, intense Biblical narratives needed such dramatic altering. . . . Their story was so different that if they didn’t use the Biblical names and released the same movie with a different title, I might not have even recognized it—especially with all the Arthurian mythology woven in—though the caricature and stereotypes that ran through the film shoved the viewer in that direction. . . . The movie is manipulative in its anti-religious polemic. All the supernatural elements of the story (which are in the Bible to make theological points about the God of the Hebrews and thus are literally important to the characterization of God, regardless of one’s faith position) are stripped away or given a “scientific” explanation within the dialogue. . . . Moses is a firm atheist until he suffers a traumatic brain injury which makes him hallucinate a boy-god. Which brings us to the petulant, malicious boy-god, who plagues the Hebrews alongside the Egyptians, ignores Moses’ pleas for mercy and binds the Hebrews to him without choice in the final plague. All of these alterations were designed to make religion look senile. This is misdirection at best considering the blatant attempt to attract religious viewers with the movie’s “Biblical” subject matter.” For these reasons and others I have read, I do not recommend this film. If we go see it, it should be for us to be informed so that we can best be able to share the truth and bring the lies into light. Otherwise, it is not worth our support, contrary to what I wrote to you in last month’s newsletter.