Hope and redemption at the Bagdad Cafe

20 August, 2005 at 11:08 pm 4 comments

This is a movie I should have seen years ago! What a delight! The story of the group of mismatched characters who find happiness, hope and redemption – "magic" – is not just heartwarming. It's a thoroughly believable exploration of the way in which human beings can be the agents of transformation. If you've ever wondered what "entertaining angels unawares" might be like, this will show you. The film is superbly crafted. It avoids Hollywood-type film techniques. The Director's use of time and light is stunning. The film never hurries. The transformation doesn't happen overnight – it evolves, gestates and emerges, and you'd be hard pressed to pinpoint the moment. I thought Jasmin (Marianne Sagebrecht) was an interesting redeemer figure. She was a wounded healer, as much in need as able to give. It's one of those films that makes for good theological reflection – not because its theme is overtly religious, but because its values are the mustard seeds that bring about change. What are your favourite "theological movies"?


Entry filed under: film.

Selective compassion in Gaza discovering dissonance

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anonymous  |  20 August, 2005 at 11:37 pm

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  • 2. homileo  |  21 August, 2005 at 12:16 pm

    Goodness where do I begin?

    A few years ago Robert Redford made a film entitled “A River Runs Through It” based on autobiographical tale of Norman MacLean. It is the story of a fly fisherman in the state of Montana and captures the mystery of the oneness of life and unity of all things beautifully.

    MacLean tells his story when he is an old man remembering his parents who died long ago and his brother with whom he fished and whom he loved but was killed by loan sharks as a young man.

    MacLean ends his story this way, “Like many fly fishermen in western Montana where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start fishing until the cool of the evening. Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the Big Blackfoot River and a four-count rhythm and the hope that a fish will rise. Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”

    Haunting film. A must see.

  • 3. Wol  |  23 August, 2005 at 7:09 pm

    And for a trout fisherman like me, magical! Thanks for the insights, homileo. Come on, you lot – let’s get this list generated …

  • 4. Nick  |  28 August, 2005 at 1:59 pm

    Wol – a very long time ago I worked at a cinema that ran a Percy Adlon retrospective. His movies before ‘Bagdad Cafe’ are well worth checking out if you can find them – especially ‘Sugarbaby’ (also starring the wonderful Marianne Sagebrecht).


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