Rarely does a crowd leave the cinema in stunned silence, but there was an atmosphere of sombre reflection on saturday night as we came out of vue cinema Swansea having watched defiance. The film is all the more harrowing when it is remembered that it is based on a true story.4 Jewish brothers escape Nazi occupation and flee to the forests of Belarussia, where a group of Jewish men, women, young and old gradually gather around them. Eventually a community of refugees is established and learn to live in the wilderness, even during winter, in constant fear for their lives. The brutality of the Nazi regime, helplessness of the refugees and moral dilemnas of those caught in between are brought home with hard hitting reality by the film. Countless moral questions are opened up in the course of events. But I won’t give the whole story-line away. Its clearly not an evenings ‘entertainment’ as may be more tempting a choice at the cinema – but i would recommend anyone to go and see it.
2009 will mark seventy years since the outbreak of world war two. The events of the holocaust and the war seem distant, as that generation dies out and experience is confined to learning about the events second hand. All, including the film makers no doubt, would agree that we need to remember and learn from the events of those dark times. Yet, with nearly a decade of the twenty-first century under our belts can it be truly said that we have progressed and learnt from the past. As a student, living in my student bubble, even I am aware of the atrocities and sadness that engulf our world, relayed with regularity by newsreaders every night of the week. Looking back, as my study demands, leaves the inescapable conclusion that mankind does not learn from its mistakes. As long as this humans populate this earth, so will the sadness and miseries caused by war, famine, fanaticism, crime etc. continue.
Yet we do anything possible to escape the sobering truth of reality, and understandably so! But as christians, we have a hope in the gloom and suffering of life – whether ours or others. The Bible makes it clear that God’s heart breaks more than any human’s over the state of his creation! God longs for us to come to him and trust him so that one day we might enjoy perfect life – as he intended in the first place!