The Passion of the Christ

The Passion of the Christ Movie Poster

I finally got the opportunity to see The Passion of the Christ on Friday night. Well the first half anyway. Now my not having seen it, long before Friday of course, wasn’t necessarily a case of me not wanting or avoiding seeing it. As it was the opportunity never presented itself. And, by no means, did it hurt there are literally thousands of film makers film’s I’d rather watch before watching one from Mel Gibson. I digress.

Keep in mind I know next to nothing concerning Jesus Christ. Not that I necessarily have any issues with finding out. But I have priorities, and reading about the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth hasn’t ever ranked very high on a reading list for me. This is neither a historical or a religious commentary toward the significance of this film. This is merely a couple of first impressions from a piece of entertainment. Taken at face value…

Continue reading The Passion of the Christ

20 Years On

Last night I finally had the opportunity to watch the documentary Kanehsatake: 270 Years Of Resistance. It’s something that has been on my “to-do-list” for quite some time, and special thanks to a friendly reminder — regarding the film, not the Standoff’s anniversary (which more or less started 20 years ago this past Sunday, July 11th, 1990) — I got it watched.

So here we are, 20 years on from a point in time where Native North American Mohawk’s stood up to the Canadian government looking to continue in its colonial endeavours, and I found myself even more troubled than I had expected. Not by anything the film, quite excellently, dealt with concerning the “crisis” — as distressing as it was/is — but rather my governments actions, and the “minions” who carry out its wishes, today.

What a great bit of context, for a historical event in Canada’s sordid history, sure, but its continued relevance toward the sad state that has become Canada, is ever more powerful. Check it out…

Avatar The Movie

Well I saw the movie Avatar this past Saturday night. And subsequent to having “experienced” it, I was involved in quite a thoughtful and very constructive — personally speaking — conversation. Discussing, both, the film’s flaws — animal issues, with which I have a specific concern with, and don’t fully agree — and its benefits — the fact that white people can better understand and relate to a white character, and thus begin to understand “colonial[/white] privilege, hegemony, etc.” — on Facebook.

As for the animal issues raised, I agree with the objections to the “domestication”/domination/ownership of the flying species the Na’vi used throughout the film is flawed, specifically with respect to the way they are “connected,” but I’ve issues with demonizing the hunting. While sad, of course, plus I’m not really sure how necessary hunting is to the Na’vi, given their seemingly “fruitful” environment, but condemning an indigenous people for living off the land, much the same away people in the Arctic currently, and for many a generation have survived, seems uncomfortably misplaced.

That said, my interpretation of the film is a bit different. Not better. Just different. While I agree with what one particular individual involved in our conversation said, it was very refreshing (even exciting) to see a disability cast in such a role, the main role, but something about Jake’s value as productive member of the team — only because he happened to be the twin of the intended original Avatar “driver” — didn’t sit right with me. An almost a least best scenario? Like “it’s this or nothing?” I understand it. But it still bothered me. And I’ll be the first to admit, it could be me being hyper-sensitive…

Continue reading Avatar The Movie

‘Use Is Abuse’

Karol Orzechowski of Animal Voices just posted an extremely valuable short film, via Vimeo, titled Field Trip. It’s a relatively benign — and don’t let my characterization mislead you, I think it’s very powerful, too — look into The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, specifically, and the animal user industry, as a whole, in general.

I’m not sure what you’ll get out of it, its effect is wholly dependant on your interpretation, but I was left saddened. For the animals, obviously, but the children, as well. They have no idea they’re being misled, not to mention, severely indoctrinated, through a first hand look into some horribly problematic practices, sure, but the information they’re receiving isn’t exactly the entire truth.

Mary Martin said it all;

“… [T]here are no graphic images of suffering similar to those in, say, Earthlings. However, for me, the images are in a way just as powerful because they demonstrate that use is abuse…” ((via her blog post @Animal Person))

And, just to “reiterate” something else Mary said — in that same post — “The site for the film is here, and [it] includes thought-provoking photos, as well…”