Lately it seems we've watched more than our share of thought-provoking films. The sort of movie that sticks with you for hours, days, even weeks after watching it. In the mood to think? To be pushed out of your comfort zone? Wanna spark a heated conversation? The following movies might be hard to watch, but they are beautiful in their own way. And I promise they'll get you pondering the complexities of life.
The Constant Gardener is both gorgeous and haunting. Filmed on location in Kenya, it's really a love story that goes horribly awry. Justin is a British diplomat whose activist wife, Tessa, is murdered in a remote region of Africa. As he tries to uncover the mystery behind her death, we relive their romance in the years leading up to the tragedy. Their love is bittersweet and unexpected, and seemingly doomed from the beginning. But there's more to the story than romance: underlying Justin and Tessa's relationship is her passion for social justice. I won't give anything away, but suffice it to say the movie uncovers yet another way the world uses and abuses Africa. Whether or not the allusions are true (some critics say that the film is a walk in the park compared to what really happens in Africa, while others say the claims are unfounded) The Constant Gardener definitely gets you thinking about justice issues in Africa and whether or not we are apathetic enough to yet again turn a blind eye.
Gone Baby Gone was our most recent movie venture and it's still very fresh in my mind. I do NOT recommend this film for everyone--there was a ten-minute scene in the middle that I couldn't watch at all (the word "pedophile" conjures up all manner of hatred and malice in me), but horrible rabbit trail aside, this movie had Aaron and me talking for hours. In a nutshell, Gone Baby Gone is about a little girl who has gone missing. Patrick Kenzie and his girlfriend Angie are private detectives who are hired to help find her. What ensues is a journey to hell and back as they try to figure out what happened. The problem is, once they solve the mystery, they can't help wishing they didn't. After watching the conclusion, Aaron and I argued and talked and wrestled... Is the right thing to do always the moral thing to do? The Bible says that justice is God's... But does the Lord ever use his people to mete out that justice? Are we ever allowed to "take matters into our own hands?" The movie's very appropriate tagline is "Everyone wants the truth... Until they find it." Is that true? Are there ever times when we are better off not knowing the truth?
We may not have come to any consensus after watching and discussing these films, but at least they got us talking... Have you seen them? Or do you have any others to add to the list? I have a feeling our next movie selection will be a few seasons of The Office (just to take a little break from all the heaviness), but I'm always on the lookout for something that will engage me...