Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


Listening and Watching

I finally picked up American IV: The Man Comes Around. The title track is awesome. So is the rest of the album. Starkly evocative I think is the right way to describe it. Genuine. Black, white, gray. Cash was honest and hopeful- his eschatilogical vision at the beginning and end of the album envelops the sadness and love in between.

I also bought and watched To End All Wars, which came out last year if I recall correctly, but never made it to theatres around here. Powerful film. It is stories like that which make me realize that I really have no one to forgive- I have no real enemies, and yet I become angered over trifling things, and hold on to grudges. If only in forgiveness this film packs a redemptive punch, but it includes more than that. Well worth seeing.

And then Monday I watched in the theatre Hotel Rwanda, which portrays the 1994 genocide in Rwanda and one man's attempts to save his neighbors. I had heard about it via World Magazine last year, but it was slow in being released in this area. It is an incredible film- deeply moving, and angering. But, while it could have simply laid a guilt trip on us- and rightly- it doesn't simply leave it at that. Rather, we are given the story of a man who stands against the tide, in his own quietly and desperately heroic manner. Neither does it subject us to endless carnage and bloodbaths- I was actually a bit surprised at the subdued nature of the protrayals, considering the subject nature.

I must confess that I have paid precious little attention to Rwanda, other than recognition in my mind that it happened. I was nine when it happened. I don't recall hearing about it on television- I'm sure I did at some point, but it wasn't in my conciousness. I do remember reading- after the fact- a National Geographic article, and in particular a photo of a little boy's drawing of his memories. It was terrible- a little boy (I think it may have been the child who drew the picture) was being attacked by men with machetes- and it still sticks in my mind. This film really helped sensitize me to Rwanda- to the reality that the people who lived and died there were people. It's terrible that I need a film to remind me.


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