Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Different Kind of Oliver Stone Movie

Yesterday afternoon we went to see the movie World Trade Center. When I found out that it was an Oliver Stone movie, I almost decided to pass it up. I have seen others of his movies, and while they are done with excellence, Stone is not above taking artistic license with facts to tell his story.

All of us bring our biases with us on a daily basis, and it is difficult to leave them aside and look objectively at reality. I, for example, am very much a product of Midwestern U.S., Ozarkian Stone-Campbell movement, with a bit of a broadening because of exposure to other parts of the world. Though I want to see the world objectively (I was taught that we should approach Truth with a clean slate mentality), the fact is that I cannot divest myself of all that which I have learned/experienced/read/received. The best I can do is to be aware of my biases.

Oliver Stone, in producing the film World Trade Center, has done a pretty good job of wiping the slate clean, and telling the story without inserting his point of view. Tragedies reveal character. When tragedy strikes, we see two kinds of people: 1) those who watch out for themselves; 2) those who take good care of others. Tragedies also unite. Our nation rallied together on Sept. 11, 2006. We rally to help those affected by tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornados, or any other unexpected tragedy. Personally, one of the most powerful emotions I have ever felt was the solidarity with people on a bus travelling from Santiago to Maipú after the March 1985 earthquake in Santiago. All of us had been affected to some degree by the earthquake. All of us had doubts, not knowing how much destruction we would find when we got home. It was a powerful sense of belonging to one another. I will never forget it.

An earthquake in Santiago, Chile pales in comparison to the events of 9-11-2001. What happened in NYC and Washington was exponentially more powerful. World Trade Center essentially tells the story of two survivors (officers with the Port Authority Police Department) and their families. Stone tells the story of their survival and rescue without inserting politics into the equation. The result is a powerful movie, that, though not fun to watch is worth seeing.

The Bible tells us that man was created in the image of God. It didn't take long for man to tarnish that image. Was the image destroyed, or just contaminated? The answer to that question is far too complex for this blog entry. World Trade Center shows us, however, that that image of God stamped into our DNA was not destroyed completely. We have the capcity to do both evil and good. Though perhaps we see much evil in world, and in ourselves, we were born with a desire for more (a la Augustine's God-shaped vacuum). WTC shows the results of man's worst, and an example of man's best. There is something worth redeeming (pardon the religious word) in mankind. After all, God did send His son for that purpose.

By the way, before I spend my money to watch a movie, I try to check Christian movie reviews. I read this one about WTC. I thought you might enjoy it too.

Peace to all!


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