- We Were
- MOVIE: "We Were Soldiers" (DVD ONLY!) (starring Mel
ILLUSTRATES: THE STRENGTH OF THE FAITH COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT US AT OUR MOST CRITICAL TIMES OF NEED, AND TO UNDERGIRD OUR FAITH WHEN WE, ON OUR OWN, MIGHT FALTER.
SCENE: Go to "special features", then "deleted scenes," and select "the church."
This deleted scene from the movie takes place back in the states at the protestant chapel on the base from which the 7th Infantry, First Division had been deployed in Nov. of 1965 to Vietnam. The division was the first to enter into direct combat with the North Vietnamese army.
The scene depicts the families (mostly the wives) of the soldiers, who are in church days after their husbands have gone off to war, and as we see in the very beginning of the clip, even as their husbands are on the choppers taking them to the battlefield. One of the young wives is introduced by the pastor, and is to sing the "Offertory Hymn." She begins, tentatively, singing the opening words from "My Hope is Built."
She soon falters, apologizes and begins again, but again falters and cannot continue. After a couple of seconds, you hear the sound of another woman singing, "On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand." It is the wife of the commander of the division, and soon the other wives, and then the entire congregation are singing.
This is a wonderful illustration of how, when we are afraid, or unsure of our faith, or under some extreme trial, the faith community undergirds us, and reminds us of the faith that we, by ourselves, may not be able to articulate or even access.
As the scene ends (and this might be another illustration entirely) the people are singing, "all other ground is sinking sand," as the scene shifts back to the medivac helicopter approaching the battlefield in Vietnam.
As to the entire film, it is, as you might imagine, bloody and violent, but also very human and sensitive to the horrible suffering that is war, not only for combatants, but for their families and loved ones. It is also a story of courage, as the commander's wife, learning that the Army is notifying wives of their husbands' death by sending telegrams delivered by cab drivers, tells the driver, "If there are any more telegrams, tell the taxi company to being them to me." She, and another wife, then take on themselves the task of going to each wife and personally delivering the tragic news. (Paul Wiberg)
- MOVIE: "We Were Soldiers" (DVD ONLY!) (starring Mel Gibson)
- Chocolat (2000)
- Pere Henri's (the young priest) Easter Sermon: ?I want to talk about Christ?s humanity, I mean how he lived his life on earth: his kindness, his tolerance. We must measure our goodness, not by what we don?t do, what we deny ourselves, what we resist, or who we exclude. Instead, we should measure ourselves by what we embrace, what we create, and who we include.? (Carla Thompson Powell, Livonia, MI)
- Cast Away
- The entire movie "Cast Away" is an excellent portrayal of loneliness and our need for relationship. The scene just before Tom Hanks is rescued from his raft shows the dilemna of whether he should risk his life to save "Wilson" (his only friend - a volleyball). A very moving portrayal of how important relationship is to mankind. (Troy Hodgson)
- Remember the Titans
- The miracles of teamwork! (Roy Stuyvesant)
- Erin Brockovich (2000)
- "Erin Brockovich" is essentially a film about empowerment. A mother of three children is unemployed and has no source of income. She decides that she has to find a job at all costs. In her work at a small law firm, she discovers that she has very little respect from the other employees. She comes to believe that the women of the firm are jealous of her physical attributes when she is asked to change to more appropriate work clothing. She dreams of one day having a job where she is respected for what she brings to her position. She dreams of being viewed as a person of integrity. As the story unfolds, Erin develops a friendship with her boss that only strengthens with time because of her hard work and determination to do a good job. He strongly affirms Erin with several votes of confidence. As Erin works on her case, she receives acceptance from her co-workers gradually and also from those whom she wants to sign the petition. She also is required to show some great courage when she receives some threats to her family. Her case in a small California town that is plagued by bad water requires endurance from her and from her children and boyfriend/neighbor. The film depicts a journey of self-discovery for Erin. She finds that there are many obstacles that she must overcome, including dealing with the tension of not being with her children as much as she would like when she is working on her project for the town. The tension between working and not working is a strong one for Erin, who does not have the benefits of child support for her three children. As she gains the trust of the town, a sense of community between these people develops. They begin to understand that all of their medical problems are interconnected and that by joining together as one community they have a greater chance of achieving their goals. At the end of the film, Erin shows great joy at her accomplishments as a person in the working world (not to give away the ending). (Valerie Lyson Humphreys, Independence MO)
- Remember the Titans
- See review at Hollywood Jesus.
- Any Given
- I've used Al Pacino's rousing "inches" speech before the final game in the movie to talk about unity in the church, the body of Christ concept, and team-work. Watch out for the vulgarities. (Mike Perschon)
- Overboard (1987)
- Rich woman treats workers like dirt, falls overboard and loses her memory, worker rescues her and tells her she is his wife and mother of his kids. She gets attached to them all, gets her memory back. (Ann K. Fontaine)
Breakfast Club (1985)
- I would suggest "The Breakfast Club" for discussion about Transformation and the Body of Christ. All five of these teenagers start the day off looking at the world through their own personal filters. By the end of the movie they are transformed to realise that they are all one and the same. (Emily Young)
in the Heart (1984)
- The black community pitches in to help get the cotton crop in on time.
- Final Eucharist shows the relatedness of all in the town, no matter how at odds or far away they seemed during the story.
- Local Hero (1983)
- A Houston oil executive is sent to a small oceanside Scottish village to purchase the entire village with the plan to destroy the village and the ecology of the beautiful beach and bay that the village is located on in order to install a gigantic oil tank storage facility. The Houston oil executive ends up with a deep appreciation of the simple pleasures and satisfactions of the human community in this village and contrasts this community with the emptiness of his life in Houston. The movie ends with a crusty old resident of the beach "converting" the oil company CEO (played brilliantly by Burt Lancaster) and the beach and village are saved. Great soundtrack by Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits.) (Curtis Huber)
- The Elephant Man (1980)
- Someone who is "unclean" is brought into community. Line when being teased "I am human!" (submitted by Ann K. Fontaine)
- The Defiant
- Two embittered convicts - one black and one white - learn to trust each other and work together as they attempt to escape while shackled together.
- American Westerns, reviewed by Robert Widdowson:
The Tall T (1957) Directed by Bud Boetticher; Screenplay by Burt Kennedy. A major theme in American westerns (Spaghetti ones show little interest in this area) is the cohesiveness/incohesiveness of the community. Often the community encounters a threat that promises to destroy their fragile existence unless the community takes action. The threat maybe bandits (The Magnificent Seven), immorality (Who Shot of Liberty Valence), or the invasion of another community (The Alamo). Often several threats converge - such is the case in The Tall T. Bandits, immorality, and invasion all conspire to destroy the well-being of the "good guys."In this 1950s western, Randolph Scott plays a decent, hard-working cowpoke who struggles to create his own homestead in the wild west. Unfortunately, his plans are derailed when he encounters a gang of bandits. They shoot Scott's pal and proceed to dump the remains down the only water well for miles around, thus polluting the water source. Not only do the bandits kill one person, but they effectively threaten to kill the whole community by this reckless act of violence. Scott must correct the problem by outwitting the bandits and rescuing the community. This film gives modern viewers a good analogy to the ancient concern around pollution (I'm thinking specifically about some of the Levitical laws). Several other westerns (Apache Drums, etc.) also use the contaminated-water theme to illustrate the threat to community.