Thursday, March 29, 2012

Film Club: The Island Discussion

First meeting of Film Club today! We are discussing The Island, the 2006 Russian movie, not the 2005 Ewan MacGregor movie. If you haven't watched it yet, never fear you can still watch and join in the discussion at any time. It's available to watch on Netflix Instant.

This is our first film club discussion and I'm afraid I don't have anything brilliant to say. I was hoping this was going to be the kind of movie that made me THINK BIG THOUGHTS but I don't have much to share beyond some superficial observations and questions. So...

This story reminded me a little bit of Godric by Frederick Buechner. We have a man who is considered a holy man but does not necessarily consider himself a holy man either for his past transgressions or the sin he constantly feels oppressed by. Yet, Father Anatoly is clearly a holy man and gifted with the ability to see things and sense things even if they are not what the person wants to hear. I found the opening scene when the young lady came to him and asked for permission to have an abortion rather touching. With his gift, he knew she didn't really want to have an abortion, but figured her prospects for marriage would be shot if she didn't. He gave her the knowledge she needed to have the courage to have her baby. I don't know I kind of liked it. But then some of the stories turned out differently, like that woman that came to him and he told her husband was still alive in France!

I think there was probably symbolism galore I was missing in the film like the fact that Father Anatoly stayed in the boiler room and then I didn't get the whole joke about why Abel killed Cain. Basically, I need your help in understanding the finer points of the movie.

I did a bit of reading up on it and I really liked this quote from the screenwriter and think it begs discussion:

"When people ask for something from God, he is often wrong because God has a better understanding of what a person wants at that moment"

What do you think of this quote?

How did you feel about the film? How did you feel about the revelation that Tikhon wasn't really dead? I think it's interesting that Anatoly spent so much time in repentance for the initial act and while Tikhon was alive and able to forgive him, it doesn't really erase that he made the choice to begin with. The condition of the heart and the instinctive selfishness and pull for self-preservation exist no matter what the results.

I hope some of you watched this and have some insight for me! If you blogged about it, please leave a comment in links.

Next discussion is April 27th about Babette's Feast and will be hosted at Carrie's blog!


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