Chance and Faith
Within this larger story is a smaller one, told by Jasper, the character played by Michael Caine, about the death of the young son of the protagonist, Theo. Life, says Jasper, is a juxtaposition of faith and chance. Faith brought a man and a woman, Theo and Julianne, both political activists, to a rally, for they believed that they could change the world; but by chance they met within the crowd of people. Faith made them have a child, but chance (avian flu) struck the child down. Throughout the film, the embittered Theo expresses cynicism about any "larger purpose" to all the suffering he sees around him, in contrast to the midwife Miriam who is always reciting Hindu chants and saying "everything happens for a reason"; and yet Theo is no nihilist, for he's the only one who sizes up events quickly and without illusion, and he rescues Miriam and the young Kee, a helpless girl with a huge secret. The faith of which Jasper speaks is not religious faith, but trust; the ability to look life in the face and yet believe in tomorrow ("Tomorrow" being also the name of a ship that will help them escape).
If you can stand it, also check out The King. Be warned: it's a rewarding and important film but its ending is about as awful as that of The Wicker Man (the original). My review of The King appeared in this issue of the Minnesota Atheist newsletter.
Labels: film reviews