Mark Moring on Bruce Springsteen’s "We Shall Overcome"

Christianity Today‘s Mark Moring sings the praises of Bruce Springsteen singing the praises of Pete Seeger singing the praises of God.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” called Through a Screen Darkly, and a four-volume series of fantasy novels called The Auralia Thread, which includes Auralia’s Colors, Cyndere’s Midnight, Raven’s Ladder, and The Ale Boy’s Feast. Jeffrey is a contributing editor for Seattle Pacific University’s Response magazine, and he writes about art, faith, and culture for Image, Filmwell, and his own website, LookingCloser.org. His work has also appeared in Paste, Relevant, Books and Culture, and Christianity Today (where he was a film columnist and critic for almost a decade). He lives in Shoreline, Washington. Visit him on Facebook at facebook.com/jeffreyoverstreethq.

  • Mo

    On the recommendations here, I rented this movie.

    What movie was everyone else watching? I saw Palestinian kids with slingshots screaming, as always, about ‘liberating Palestine’ (read: suicide bombings and murder) and playing the victims as they always do. ‘We don’t want to see the Zionists’ and all the rest. I saw some rally/demonstration with people screaming like lunatics about shedding their blood and martyrdom and teaching these young kids the same. “This is a child holding a stone saying, ‘I will kill him’.” This is the stuff they are brainwashed with every minute of every day.

    Contrast that with the Israelis in Jerusalem during the reunification celebration. Singing, dancing-enjoying and celebrating life. No screaming hatred, no shouts for bloodshed, no desires for martyrdom. Doesn’t anyone see a difference in these two sides? Yet that little boy sees a simple celebration as a provocation. You can see the hate in his eyes already. The little murderer-in-the-making proudly supports Hamas and Hezbollah! He’s already justifying the murder of women and children. What on earth is so wonderful about any of this? (Especially as this is a Christian site?)

    Yet during the rememberance for the Israeli dead, we did not see anyone screaming for blood. We saw sadness, and one of the Israeli twins saying that ‘both sides lose’ in such a conflict. He was angry too, but at the injustice for all people involved. As they visited their army friend in the hospital, one of them said he does not want to kill people when he goes to the army. Big difference in the basic attitudes of both groups.

    Yes, ugly and unfortunate things happen on all sides of a conflict. But one thing about this never ending conflict is clear, and that is what the foundations of each faith teaches its followers.

    There are two groups here and they are not the same. Trying to make them seem equal is ridiculous. Of course I felt sorry for that little girl whose father is in jail. But he was a member of the PLO! He’s not in jail for nothing. ‘They occupy people and they put them in prison’, she says. The Palestinian side is always portrayed as the victims, and these kids grow up with that victim mentality which in turn justifies their hatred and murder. For example, when they met, the one Palestinian boy told the story of how his brother was killed. ‘He was throwing stones’ and he was shot. Yes, it’s sad that he was shot, but hello, why was he throwing stones? Why is that excused? Yet they are portrayed as innocent victims-when many times they start the trouble.

    That kid kicking the Israeli star early in the film shows the message loud and clear. Which side is the one screaming murder and then acting on it? In this movie, which side was the one with the bold hatred and words of violence? Which side talked about wanting to throw stones, and yes, even kill? Only one side.

    Sure, at the end there was a bit of hope. There always is, when people see each other as people, not as anonymous ‘sides’ in a conflict. But this is naive. Do we really think that a few meetings and meals and conversations is going to really change things? Even if these kids ended up liking each other personally, is this going to have an effect when the clear and basic teaching of Islam is to destroy your enemies? That’s the ugly truth as found in the Koran. The enemy is anyone who is not a Muslim, especially Jews. There is no getting around that fact. Yet no one ever wants to speak about it. In contrast, the Jewish faith has no such teachings.

    Yes, it was sad at the end. But the root of the problem is the two basic teachings of their religions. It is where the conversation need to start, and yet it was not even brought up. This is not an equal conflict, and there is a clear right and wrong.

    While this movie was a good study in getting to know the separate worlds that these children live in, it does not tell the whole story. I fail to see what all the praise is about. I am very disappointed, not just in the movie itself, but in the high recommendations here.

  • Neville

    I just came across it about 3 months ago and had similar feelings. How did I miss this?

    This is an important film for anyone who cares at all about the future of our world.

  • sg

    I watched it and it was, as promised, amazing.

    Thanks for the heads up.

  • sg

    I’ll have you know that I bumped several other movies that have been waiting in line a long time for your suggestion.

    :)

    Thanks. It really does sound like a timely film choice. Just reading your comments on it made me want to see it.

    Peace,

    Steve
    http://www.myspace.com/stevenwesleyguiles
    http://www.myspace.com/pushstartwagon

  • RC

    i agree w/ you on this film…excellent, excellent, excellent…

    i showed to my students i teach at school, my wife and i watched, i recommend it all the time…it’s so revealing and multi-diminsenal into the world of the israeli conflict and helps you see all the sides in such an accessible way.

    –RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com


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