Looking Forward and 47 Ronin


Tomorrow it will be Friday, which means that I have one week to go before I leave for Auckland, and just over that before I’ll be back at Create in Thailand. Lately, I’ve been spending more and more time thinking about the school I will be leading come June ( what am I talking about? See here: Leading the SFM ), and what I want to do/accomplish during that this time. Those I’ve talked to about this know that I have a million and one things running through my mind, ways in which I can shift the perspective of learning for those students that attend. One thing we’ll be doing is watching a tonne of films…
That’s the first thing to think about.

I’ve also spent the day making a bit of a Prezi presentation for a talk I’ll be doing this Sunday with a church here in Lower Hutt! Really, it’s just about what Create does, and why we do it, but that subject, once it rolls off my tongue in that real “ranting” fashion that I have, means that I get to cover some pretty awesome talking points. One of which is the idea of three salvation themes, guilt, shame, and fear. We often talk about cultures theoretically having a “heart” or a worldview geared towards shame and honour, or guilt and innocence, or power and fear. Clearly these narratives overlap in varying degrees within different cultures, but by and large, you can use these themes to touch people where it means the most. That’s the second thing to think about.

So these two things kind of set that stage for tonight. I watched 47 Ronin tonight with my brother. It’s a real guys film (a real Keanu Reeves film…), if you like action films, a bit of fantasy, all of that cool samurai themes, then this is a great movie. But one thing really stuck out to me, this is probably the most clearly painted piece of film that shows the themes of shame and honour, and in this case how it affects Japanese culture, that I have ever seen. I can think of no other film that so captures this message as obviously as 47 Ronin did. And boy does it shuv that message through your heart… As a believer in Christ, and one that seeks to see the Kingdom of Heaven reign in this world, this film really got to me. I firmly believe that a good, understandable gospel is one that brings hope to those in shame, freedom from fear, and a cleansing of our guilt, it is one that should find a place in anyone’s heart, no matter where they live on this planet. And that’s all I could think about when I watched this film. There is absolutely no hope in this film, none at all, it deals with honour and shame, and I think it’s western audience could get a small part out of that, but it doesn’t show a way out of the cycle. And why should it? There is none for those lives that live within it? The idea of shame and honour is one that bounds ones heart, as well as the heart of the community. Without Christ, there is no hope, one would be forever kept within the cycle, and you would never escape.

I’ve decided I want to show this film to my students. What other film would so capture this theme, and show why the gospel is needed. So then I began to think of other films that clearly showed a cultures underlying belief structures, I have a few in mind, but I figured I’d ask others what they thought. Do you know of any other films that we could watch that would show these sorts of themes?? Message me:)

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