Rosie reports on a recent film night at Church:
After evening worship on Sunday a few us stayed on to and watched the excellent 2006 South African film Son of Man – the life of Jesus in a modern Black South African context.
I found it very moving. Jesus’ story came to life, in a very real way. The political struggles, oppression and violence shown in the film’s modern setting made the link between how things may have been in Jesus’ day and howthey still continue in some parts of our world.
The focus was on Jesus as a political and moral activist (with his action shaped by his beliefs) than from a wholly spiritual angle. His response in challenging the regime by peace was beautifully done in a sequence where he states “we will fight, but not with weapons”, with the disciples one by one placing their guns into a bag, whereupon a ‘flashback’ is shown of that person’s life, where they have been the victim of the ruling violence. The raising of Lazarus and instances of healings, and the peoples’ response to those were shown in the cultural context, however the idea stayed close to that portrayed in the gospels.
Mary’s character, and her relationship with Jesus, was very powerful, in keeping with her role in scripture, though again in the new context. The Annunciation took place in the aftermath of a massacre in a school where she worked, which made her response all the more powerful. At the end of the film, she holds Jesus’ broken body in her arms, in the back of a pickup truck.
The music and culture of Jesus’ family and disciples knit the whole film together. The sense of community sharing in the atrocities and joys of life alongside each other, and responding to Jesus’ message was extremely powerful – and one I think we can all be inspired by.
I could write lots more, but perhaps enough for now… I think I’m going to have to watch it again!