Movies we've been watching at our house (and recommend):
Sophie Scholl, The Last Days--this one won an Oscar in Foreign Film. The true story of Sophie Scholl in Germany during WWII, who was caught distributing anti-war fliers in the university with her brother, Hans. The movie is based on transcripts of her interrogation released after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1990 and conversations with a fellow prisoner. Good questions to discuss: Was it morally wrong for Sophie and Hans to try to lie to the interrogator? What was the basis for The White Rose's protest? What motivated Sophie, according to the interrogation? What would motivate you to risk your life?
Forgiving Dr. Mengele--a documentary that follows the controversial statements of a survivor of Auschwitz's concentration camp, a twin who suffered Mengele's cruel medical experiments at the tender age of ten years old. Questions for discussion: In what ways does the past experiences concentration camp affect Eva Kor's present life? Why does Eva forgive? What is her concept of forgiveness? When Eva takes her forgiveness of the doctors in Auschwitz publicly, why does it offend other survivors? Why does Eva have a hard time feeling remorse when confronted with the pain that Palestinians experience in Israel? What do you think is harder: forgiving others or having to be forgiven? How does the Bible define forgiveness? How does Eva's forgiveness compare to Corrie ten Boom's forgiveness from The Hiding Place?
Downfall--movie based on Traudl Junge's memoir "Until The Final Hour" about how she worked as Hitler's secretary during the last days of his life. When she was hired, she was about the same age as Sophie Scholl when she was executed. A comment she made in the documentary Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary about how she went past the Sophie Scholl memorial and realized that age was no excuse for participating in the murder of 6 million Jews made me rent the Sophie Scholl movie. How would you compare Traudl with Sophie? How were they different? The same? What do you think was Hitler's appeal to Traudl? What do you think Traudl would have learned from Sophie if she had the chance to know about her? If Eva could have had a chance to talk to Traudl and Sophie, what do you think she would have said? What would have they said to her?
As for me, I watched three films about three girls from the WWII era, from three different angles of the war. Two of the girls faced deep sacrifices and had to grow up beyond their age in a very short time. One seemed to have found a father figure. Two had to face hard facts and deal with truth. One followed her feelings and did not open her eyes to the truth available to her. I mention Corrie ten Boom, but left her out of the list of movies, since she experienced the concentration camp as a middle aged woman. Yet, she had to confront her own pain and anger towards the oppressors and murderers of her family. Corrie was clear that she went beyond the point of justified anger into sinful bitterness, and for her to forgive required strength from the Holy Spirit to obey Jesus' command to forgive in order to be forgiven.
We've also been watching:
Stranger Than Fiction--reminded me of a discussion I had a few years ago with my sister about my concept of God. She asked me if I thought things happen for a reason. I replied that God was the Author of our lives, that our stories have already been written. We don't see the reasons or the impact of our stories, but it is comprehensible from God's point of view. I told her Corrie ten Boom's picture of a tapestry, the side we see is the working side with knots and a vague idea of a design, but the side God sees is the magnificent picture. The movie is a good analogy of a story being written--Emma Thompson is making it up as she goes, until she hits writer's block. Question to consider: If you were to list events under comedy verses tragedy in your life, which side would come out ahead?
Premonition--Sandra Bullock is a desperate housewife jumping randomly all over the calendar week. That alone is a horror movie for women. I dislike various points in the movie--trying to be scary but ending up being stupid in a '70's sort of way. I admire other points, as in Sandra's depiction of a woman trying to make up her mind whether to fight for something or not, and then taking biblical Ruth like steps to express her commitment to her husband. Finally, it addresses the idea of predestination versus self determination. Are we really in control? What can we control? Wish that the movie explored that question more--showed a contrast in how Sandra changed within herself instead of changing circumstances by following the priest's suggestion to have faith and hope, but hey, I like Sandra B. and will watch her in everything she does, even Lake House. The gag reel is hilarious.