Sunday, November 19, 2006

Another BIG recommendation!

Well Friday night's foray into LA's live theatre scene - taking a group of 30+ Fuller folks to see "Grace" - was a smashing success. The discussion was really outstanding...just the kind of thing I wish I could do more often. And, the actors helped me understand the ending, to my satisfaction. In fact, they helped me see so many more interesting elements that I hadn't understood or noticed the first time around. It's still playing for two weeks (in Pasadena). I can't recommend it highly enough. You can get half-price tix on Goldstar.

Flush with the success of that rec, I'm going to throw out another one, this time open to the wider public. Oh, first, I just noticed on Ebert & Roeper that "Who Killed the Electric Car" and "An Inconvenient Truth" are both out on DVD this check 'em out.

Last night we watched a film that was barred from theatrical release in the United States, supposedly because the material was too sensitive. It's about post-9/11 America, and a conspiracy theorist, and the troubles we are all facing and the fears we continue having. I don't think it could have been more respectful. It was utterly true.

It's called Land of Plenty and is directed by Wim Wenders, from a story by him and Scott Derrickson (who went to Biola and is sort of an acquaintance of my husband's - a good Christian guy, himself a fine director who did The Exorcism of Emily Rose). The film stars John Diehl (who was OK) and Michelle Williams, who is always so interesting - and was outstanding. She was probably the least messed-up MK I've ever seen (that's "missionary kid" for those out of the lingo), but her character was sweet and honest and really genuine. You just wanted to know someone like her.

The film starts on the streets of Downtown LA, so I immediately felt a kinship. Its mission setting is at Winston & Los Angeles, which is right where I used to live (I was a block west at Winston & Main). I don't want to be a conspiracy nut myself, but honestly if most of America saw the poverty in this area (and it is shown in the film), they would be downright shocked. Remember how awful we all felt after Katrina, when we saw the images of people that looked like a 3rd world refugee camp? Welcome to Downtown LA. Every day.

Anyway, from there we follow Michelle as she searches for her uncle, who is a Vietnam vet caught up in stress, guilt, and recurring nightmares from his service time that were triggered by 9/11. He overcompensates by being a one-man Homeland Security agency (or attempting as much). His story becomes a bit predictable, but it's OK, because the relationship between him and his niece is what you're really watching.

The film was wrenching my guts the whole time - about the irony of our "Land of Plenty" when you pull back the curtain. But also about how beautiful it can be. And how God catches us when we fall. And the importance of family.

Did I mention it has some beautiful prayers in it? Some really real talking to God?

Just see it. Please. It is so good. I want the word to get out so Harvey Weinstein or whoever will be sorry he didn't let us all see it on the big screen. It was so wonderful. Really.


Jules said...

Happy RevGals Delurking Week!

Thanks for blogging

Karen Sapio said...

Yep--delurking here too. I read often but comment infrequently.