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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

November 8, 2013

ROLL JORDAN ROLL

I suppose one needs to go into detail when describing a film, and frankly I rather hate it when one does such a thing. I won’t do so now.

On the other hand I enjoy the smaller moments within a film, a book, a journey. It’s much more interesting talking about a simple street scene in Bangkok than it is describing the entire trip around Bangkok. I much prefer the simple photo of driftwood on the shore at sunrise when I am kayaking as opposed to 20 photos of the entire lake (though I could do that too.).

Case in point: I recently went to see “12 Years a Slave.” Yes, I recommend it. It is an important and beautiful film. It is a disturbing film.

In one scene, the main character, a free black man, is distraught as he contemplates his capture and descent into the slave structure of America. This man is educated but he is now within the bonds of slavery. He works the fields and endures brutality daily.

He steals a sheet of paper and realizes he just might be able to make ink out of berry juice. Perhaps he can write a letter and get it mailed to his family in New England where he was a free man. But he is found out, or nearly found out and the existence of this letter would reveal that he is literate and his punishment would be unendurable.

So, in silence and despair, at night he sets the letter to his loved ones on fire. And the camera lingers for moments on the flames… and then all that is left are the embers… and finally the embers die out.

It is nice touch by the filmmaker and startling moment for the filmgoer as one man’s lost hope echoes that of an entire nation at a low point in American history.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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