Wednesday, February 6, 2013

It's like that here.

I am going to show movies for our Lenten program. And have a brief study of some scriptural references that, in my mind, refer directly to the movie.

The first is "Smoke Signals" --a wonderful show on coming to terms with forgiveness. And I will pair that with (John 20:19-23 from The Message) Later on that day, the disciples had gathered together, but, fearful of the Jews, had locked all the doors in the house. Jesus entered, stood among them, and said, “Peace to you.” Then he showed them his hands and side. The disciples, seeing the Master with their own eyes, were exuberant. Jesus repeated his greeting: “Peace to you. Just as the Father sent me, I send you.” Then he took a deep breath and breathed into them. “Receive the Holy Spirit,” he said. “If you forgive someone’s sins, they’re gone for good. If you don’t forgive sins, what are you going to do with them?”

Then I am going to show "The Red Balloon" --and there are so many angles I could approach with that one --Blessed are you who are persecuted and other portions of the Beatitudes... or something else. Haven't decided.

Then I'm thinking of "Powwow Highway" --but have only got that far....

I've reviewed several films --but many of them would not be suitable 'family' showing in Lent.... And, I've reviewed other documentaries, such as the PBS "Custer's Last Stand" documentary --and when I watched it in ol' Virginia I thought it was fairly good. When I reviewed it yesterday, the six talking heads speaking to "our American history" and what a shock it was to have Custer dead in the last, great battle of the Indian wars and all that... I just couldn't help thinking --well, they've put the Indian wars to bed so neatly haven't they --but the Indian wars didn't stop in 1876... in many places, they were just beginning.... And then the one Native voice came on and spoke of the feelings one gets on the battlefield.... I just felt a bias that I did not want to condone or try to explain away.

So... I'm stretching now for movies... Perhaps I will drive in to Pierre, and check out the store there that folks here frequent. I've been told they have videos....

And I'm doing all this movie and Lenten stuff while I'm still praying over the circumstances of which I wrote yesterday... of course. And how all those circumstances are always present here --not an uncommon experience. Like gun violence in the inner cities --everyone knows someone who has been shot down --sometimes two or three in a family. It's like that here.

And my beloved Snake Killers were back last night to the church for another comfort service... I got them some paper and they colored up the paper and made paper airplanes that entertained them for hours. They own me now.

For my Snake Killers (beginning at Isaiah 54:1)
Sing, O barren one who did not bear;
burst into song and shout,
you who have not been in labor!
For the children of the desolate woman will be more
than the children of her that is married, says the LORD.
Enlarge the site of your tent,
and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out;
do not hold back; lengthen your cords
and strengthen your stakes.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left,
and your descendants will possess the nations
and will settle the desolate towns.

At prayer this morning (from Mark 8, ending with verse 26)
Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Can you see anything?”

And the man looked up and said, “I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.”

Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even go into the village.”

Healing is a process. Most often, it takes us more than once.... And maybe, just maybe, the man saw at first as God sees us --as trees, walking... and Jesus had to unwind it a bit...

Sometimes it's like that here, too. The glory is hardly imaginable.
Yeah --I've got to work the Beatitudes in to our Lenten discussions.

Any one know a good Lenten movie to show?
Peace out.


Prairie Soul said...

Margaret, have you seen the 2002 film, Skins? It was done by the same director who did Smoke Signals. I'm not sure it would fit with your Lenten Movie Festival (!), but it opened my eyes.

susankay said...

Babette's Feast -if subtitles work; The Apostle

JCF said...

I'm curious how you feel about "Black Robe". Extremely thought-provoking...often uncomfortably so (for lots of reasons).

Brian Davis said...

Margaret, I wish I could attend your Lenten study. It sounds wonderful.

If I might suggest a movie (that you may or may not find appropriate -- your judgement is far better here) I would put forth "The First Grader". Although it is not a Native American film (it takes place in Africa) it is based upon a true story about an elderly man who has been victimized by the government that was supposed to be his protector and benefactor.

There is one shocking scene where his wife and child are shot in front of him in order to "break" him but the rest of the film is so moving and so compelling and so life-changing that I still recommend it.

The man's life is a near-perfect metaphor for the Lenten journey towards the empty tomb. He simply refuses to give up on his dream to learn to read before he dies. The suffering and deprivation of the people certainly reflects some of what you write here -- as does the persistence of memory and deep respect for ancestry. I just love this movie! And I cry every time I watch it and I am changed every time I watch it.

Perhaps it would work for your Lenten series, perhaps not. Just a suggestion. . . .

Peace unto you and yours this Lenten season!

Alyce said...

Margaret: I don't know if it would be good for you guys, but my favorite Lenten film is "Chocolat." It just is. I love the idea of films for lent. It's a snowy, cold day here in Saint Paul...winter blessings to you right before Ash Wednesday.

Nij said...

The thing that I thought was so helpful in Pow Wow was that it offered the two young men different ways to react to frustration, especially when they went to the store to buy the radio for the car.

I used to use a wonderful but old film called "Belonging" about an orphaned Mexican boy who finds an orphanage and wants to join it.
Another is the story of the Prodigal Son told in the setting of a modern family. I used to get them from the Diocesan library....maybe your Diocese has a lending library for parishes. If they don't, if u r comfortable with Sr. Kate, ask her if the RC Diocese has a lending library for parishes, maybe she an get u a listing.
Am writing u guys a long letter and sending some rel. ed stuff soon.
Bon Voyage!

susankay said...

Black Robe - yes. If you want to cope with another with subtitles: The Lives of Others -- most amazing redemption story.

Anonymous said...

Forgiveness is a very complicated thing.

I wrote, and rewrote, a novel into oblivion, once: the remnants still abide on my hard drive.

One of the observations made by the chief character is that there are two ways to go to Hell.

One is to refuse to forgive; the other is to refuse to be forgiven.

(Crosses fingers that this will make it through the Spaminator)


it's margaret said...

oooo --thank you all!

motheramelia said...

I always like Babbete's Feast. I also like Black Narcissus.