Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Don’t get me wrong. The film is wonderfully made. It is strangely inspiring. It will likely end up amongst the best films of the year on my list based on the amazing cinematography, acting, and the bits of the story we do see.
Still, it bothers me that we found what we got so inspiring. Many Christians I know loved this film. But there is no way to argue that what we got is some sort of inspirational Christian story. Either we are filling in gaps with external knowledge, or we have a messed up fascination with the suffering of others. There is a strong Biblical message teaching that suffering for the faith--and an identification with Christ’s suffering—is edifying.
However, this was not the story of a Christian suffering for the faith. It is tragic circumstances. It is incredible resilience. It is general, petty injustice. It is a man with incredible fortitude and endurance. Unbroken, sure. But the message we get is encompassed in “If you can take it, you can make it.” I would have preferred the story that taught about the power of forgiveness.