Sunday, July 29, 2007

God @ the Movies: Blood Diamond

Blood Diamond is an R-rated movie. While I don’t go out of my way to shock or offend anyone by picking R-rated movies, I felt that it is justified in certain cases, this being one of them. Real life stories are often ratet R. The news is often rated R. Books are often rated R, and the Bible of all things is R-rated in places! Just try reading it- wars, tent pegs through the head, knives being plunged into big bellies, incest, adultery, genocides, stonings, slavery, the list goes on.

It’s not the parts of the Bible that I don’t understand that scare me, it’s the parts I do understand. Mark Twain

Many of us are strangely distant from the human suffering that goes on in the world.

This film is about what Martin Luther King Jr. called the triplets of evil: rascism, militarism and materialism.

Scene 1, chapter 2 6.35- 8.02

Raw materials lead to guns and death for locals- and huge profits for others.

Darwin’s Nightmare
Some time in the 1960's, in the heart of Africa, a new animal was introduced into Lake Victoria as a little scientific experiment. The Nile Perch, a voracious predator, extinguished almost the entire stock of the native fish species. However, the new fish multiplied so fast, that its white fillets are today exported all around the world. Huge hulking ex-Soviet cargo planes come daily to collect the latest catch in exchange for their southbound cargo… Kalashnikovs and ammunitions for the uncounted wars in the dark center of the continent.

I could make the same kind of movie in Sierra Leone, only the fish would be diamonds, in Honduras, bananas, and in Libya, Nigeria or Angola, crude oil.Most of us I guess, know about the destructive mechanisms of our time, but we cannot fully picture them.We are unable to "get it", unable to actually believe what we know. It is, for example, incredible that wherever prime raw material is discovered, the locals die in misery, their sons become soldiers, and their daughters are turned into servants and whores. Hearing and seeing the same stories over and over makes me feel sick. After hundreds of years of slavery and colonisation of Africa, globalisation of african markets is the third and deadliest humiliation for the people of this continent. The arrogance of rich countries towards the third world (that's three quarters of humanity) is creating immeasurable future dangers for all peoples.
Herbert Sauper

In this scene we witness the meeting of a diamond smuggler/soldier of fortune and a journalist who play prominently in the movie, as in any conflict.

Scene 2, chapter 6 24.46- 27.20

A local named Solomon Vandy and his family are caught in the violence in Sierra Leone. Solomon is forced to work in the diamond moines for the RUF, the Rebel United Front.

His wife, daughter and baby become refugees fleeing the fighting. His son Dia Vandy is captured and forced into becoming a child soldier. This is the method of indoctrination and brainwashing the RUF use:

Scene 3, chapter 9 35.00- 36.00

The children are brainwashed. Gangs are the same, offering the things we miss growing up, initiating us into more pain than healing.

Last September our kids scholol got a new principal. He came from a rougher section of Edmonton and at the first school assembly proceeded to take out fake knives and guns and said that kids aren’t allowed to bring them to school. It was a bit of a shock for most of our kids, teachers and the parents who were there. Being sheltered, though, doesn’t mean one sticks their head in the sand. Growing up in northeast Edmonton you got used to that kind of stuff!

Little Dia Vandy is now the ‘boss man’. Dia is the living example of a Blood Diamond. Will he be a little boy, or will his name make him a casualty, a Diamond for Van de Kaap. See the play on names? Diamonds equal childrens lives! Blood Diamonds.

Scene 4, chapter 9 36.40- 37.39

Scene 5, chapter 10 39.56- 40.58

I feed the poor and they casl me a saint. I ask why they’re poor and they call me a communist. Dom Helder Camera

Scene 6, chapter 13 51.41- 54.41

‘Why should I bother to help one person?’

Because that’s how we help the world, one life at a time

Have you ever seen a new story about a large refugee camp sandwiched between trying to watch sports and weather on ESPN?

‘People back home wouldn’t buy a ring if they knew it cost someone their hand.’

Scene 7, chapter 15 61.58- 63.25

How it works getting the diamonds out and reclaiming them for the global market.

Scene 8, chapter 18 75.15- 76.15

At the orphanages they reclaim the children.

‘God-forsaken continent.’

Scene 9, chapter 19 79.42- 80.45

‘You lost both your parents, didn’t you?’

God doesn’t leave any area- He sends us in!

Scene 10, chapter 23 94.37- 95.24

‘I hope they don’t find oil or we’ll be in real trouble!’

‘You think I am a devil but it’s only because I have lived in hell. I want out!’

Scene 11, chapter 28 117.47- 118.34

‘I am your Father who loves you.’

Solomon Vandy. Who is considered the wisest person to have ever lived? Solomon. Who is considered by many to have been the wealthiest to have ever lived? Solomon. He wrote Ecclesiastes:

"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. Everything is meaningless!" Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.

Maybe that admonishment even includes the things we fail to do that we should be doing. Just a thought.

Luke 10:1-12
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

"When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.' I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Were there any pairs sent out in Blood Diamond? How about Solomon and Danny. Or Danny and the journalist.

The kingdom is near, even when there is rejection of God’s ways.

“Don’t let the world steal your soul. Being a Christian is about choosing Jesus and deciding to do something incredibly daring with your life.” Shane Claiborne, quoting a college professor

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing. Arundhati Roy

This thing called the kingdom of God is emerging across the globe in the most unexpected places, a gentle whisper amid the chaos.

One Life Experience comes to Edmonton! It’s a 2000 square foot African village set-up.

Reflect on how to be a person of justice & peace. What is God saying to you?

Partnership Africa Canada

World Food Programme

Free trade coffee. Halftime experiences such as that of Randy W.

From a 19-year-old Bible College student:
To start, if you haven’t seen his movie yet; see it. I just got home from the theater, it’s quarter past one, I have to be up for training in about 7 hours, but I really don’t care. The Holy Spirit is working in me and I have to get it out, I have to tell someone, something. The whole ride home I was silent, this is my attempt at putting my thoughts down, of straightening them out before I let them wander back to the pointless, miniscule things; things that only concern me. ME! FRICK ME. This movie showed the power of greed in one situation in Africa. All over the world, greed causes hell. Christ came to bring his kingdom; so did Satan. Which kingdom am I going to choose to live under?

Blood Diamond was a movie about death, a movie about war, a movie about the power that human beings think they have over one another. It showed quite gruesomely what humans are capable of and why am I any different. I’m not in Africa trafficking diamonds or brainwashing children, I’m in North America sipping coffee and talking about ministry. Tonight, while watching this movie; I became tired of talking. I became tired of sitting around waiting to fight the battle that Christ calls me to; the Battle of bringing HIS kingdom rather than letting the kingdom of darkness reign. This isn’t a battle that’ll put me face to face with my own death literally, but it’s a battle that will take fighting. I can’t sit and feel sorry about myself anymore. I am simply a student at Bible College; slowly trying to figure out what the heck I’m here for; tonight I think I got it. Christ’s kingdom is one of love, charity, peace, joy, struggles, but mostly LIFE; Satan’s is one of death, pain, anguish, suffering, anger; ultimately death. Two kingdoms, and I am stuck in the middle. I am stuck in a world that says that neither kingdom exists, a world that claims that there is no right and wrong; only what we ‘feel’ is right. Excuse my French but that is BS!

Watch Blood Diamond and try to tell me that there’s no right and wrong. Even today I was faced with the choice to live under God’s kingdom or to let the rule of Satan overtake me. God isn’t out to get us, he’s out to free us. I’m sick and tired of waiting to be set free. I have been made free by God and I have been freed to fight. Freed to stop letting myself be the number one priority in my life. Free to serve others with a pure heart. Free to live the life that Christ was calling me to live; in HIS KINGDOM. I’ve been praying that a lot recently; that I would learn to live in the light of God’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is here, Satan’s kingdom is here; the choice is up to me who I am going to let rule me. Enter the Holy Spirit. I, by myself, do NOT have the capacity to make this choice and make I right. I need to stop playing myself up and start giving myself up. Christ calls me to more; but not on my own. Jesus will be there, the Holy Spirit will be there, I simply need to accept the hand that He is lending me, take it, and let it take me.

Here I sit, thousands of miles away from Africa, with a sense of hopelessness. The main character in the movie addresses Africa as a ‘God-forsaken’ land, in the midst of all that pain he had lost any hope. We can’t lose hope. God is in control, and you know what? I’ve accepted the fact that I’m small, that I may not be able to change the whole country of Africa- but I haven’t stopped believe that God can. So what can I do? I can choose to live under Christ’s rule; as his servant. I may not be able to change the world, but if I can help one person find freedom from the power of Satan’s kingdom – Christ has won. And that’s what he’s promised –that he’s one. I’m going to start living like I believe that… So this has been pretty random, I hope that something here has stuck out to you, let me know what you guys think. I love you all and am tired of just saying it so I’ll probably stop saying it for a while. I hope that you remember that You’re Not alone. The Kingdom of Heaven is here; believe it.

The kingdom is here. Be a part of it.

1 Comments:

Blogger Big D said...

Yeah, I saw Blood Diamond and it stirred me just like Amazing Grace and Shindler's list and Saving Private Ryan and Hotel Rwanda. All are stories of the evil in this world and the human suffering that results. And we all can relate to it if we allow ourselves to see it.
Another great piece of media is the book "Safely Home" by Randy Alcorn. Here is an example of evil and human suffering - but with a twist of a love for Jesus beyond what most have. Suffering for the sake of Christ and in that, it is a privilege to suffer.
Bless you for putting this on your blog. We all need to wake up and see what is happening in this world. . not sit back because it is not seemingly, blatantly happening here in North America.

12:43 PM  

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