Teachings from Selected Movies

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The movies Touching the Void, Holy Smoke!, Martha Marcy May Marlene and The Village (2004 film), are replicas of how humans act when faced with different situations. As such, they seem to depict a majority of both virtues as well as vices that are rampant in the twenty-first century. Consequently, the movie provides essential teachings to the humanity. They, for instance, teach how we as humans ought to relate to our friends, parents, as well as handle societal principles. Furthermore, these films also teach about God and how people should trust in Him for ease of living.

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To begin with, the film Touching the Void, which features Simpson and Yates, teaches us about inspiration regarding human’s ability, that is our ability. The two primary characters are experienced mountain climbers who willfully decides to climb the un-toured west side of Siula Grande. Through their persistence, the two makes history by reaching the top, but tragedy begets them on their way down. Simpson’s leg gets injured from a fall, and thus Yates becomes responsible for Simpson’s ascend from the mountain. As such, the two are required to descent a three thousand meters cliff quickly but only have a three hundred meters rope that Yates decides to drop Simpson with. Consequently, Yates realizes that the pressure applied on the glacier that he is standing on while holding Simpson with a rope is making it, the ice, to melt hence compromising their both safety. With this regard, Yates cuts the rope and lets Simpson fall, while he, (Yates) searches for an alternative way of saving himself to the base camp. On the other hand, Simpson, who is almost dead of ice coldness lastly awakes and also finds his way down to the base camp. On finding Yates ready to leave the camp, as he (Yates) thought Simpson had died, Simpson holds no grudge as he says he would as well have done that if he were in Yates’ position. The self-inspiration and understanding as well as love for his fellow human being thus help Simpson to overcome the challenges, both physical and psychological (Simpson 1988, p. 218).

This film is not only of great importance to mountain climbers but also to all humans. By being based on the strange environment, one may understand the movie to be depicting the daily challenges that people and more so believers undergo on a daily basis. Moreover, the start of the voyage to the mountain can also be related to the decisions that humans make of following the salvation way. Additionally, the fact that the two mountain climbers in the movie exposed themselves to the dangers that they met also implies the personal decision that people take before giving their lives to God while knowing of the dangers awaiting them. That notwithstanding, the falling and breaking of Simpson’s leg further depict the reality of the way of salvation where believers always meet hurting instances that almost take away their faith. Equally important, the limitedness of resources, that is both water and food, as well as ropes further connotate to the scarcity of material supply that always pushes believers into temptations where they have to make hard decisions such as letting go some of their precious things. The film is a call for persistence that () says is a must have to walk in the path of salvation. In the same token, the scene where Yates has to give in and let Simpson find his way out of the cliff, as well as the one where Yates is surprised by the appearance of Simpson while he is almost exiting the basement camp depicts God’s provision and miracles. Yates had perceived that Simpson was already dead, and also many mountain climbers call Simpson’s survival an enigma (Simpson & Tony 2012, p. 37), and this communicates the real working of God.

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Equally important, the film Holy Smoke!, teaches about real human love as well as self-realization and God’s love. It features a lady by the name Ruth who travels from Australia to India in search of work but falls to an alien culture of reaching the foreign nation. The lack of appreciating God’s love allows her to easily be swayed away by the teachings of guru by the name Baba. Moreover, humanistic love if further depicted by the manner her parents decided to work out all means to bring their daughter home after learning that she had fallen into a cult. As such, Miriam; Ruthe’s mother travels to India to trick her daughter to fly back to Australia where they unite with their father to make their family complete and exercise family love. Furthermore, Ruth’s parents’ love for her also forces them to invite a British cult deprogrammer by the name P.J Waters to aid their daughter to integrate well back into the society. With this regard, the deprogrammer applies his professionalism to deprogram Ruth from the cult but unfortunately is lured into the cult by Ruth’s beauty and boldness. As such, the Waters whom Ruth’s parents firmly believed to be the healer of their daughter’s problems lacks God’s love and dependence as he trusts in his human ability and experience in doing his work. Consequently, the reliance on his ability makes him weak in front of the girl he is to aid and thus ends up falling and failing to accomplish his mission (Ebert 2000).

With this regard, this film reiterates the saying that laborers will labor in vain if not with God’s favor and assistance. As such, Evelyn (2009) says that Lord’s help only comes when humans accept Him and appreciate His presence in all that they are doing (p. 114). Consequently, it is possible to argue that Ruth’s parents managed to find her, or rather develop concerns with her relationship with cult because they, the parents, had genuine love for God and their daughter. On the other hand, it is also arguable that Ruth also fell into the cult because she lacked true love for her Lord and that she wanted to do things her way. With this respect, the Ruth managed to find a comfortable companion in the Baba because they were for the same agenda, that of satisfying personal desires and living a structural life which is seldom in true Christianity. While we are told that Miriam got infected with Asthma, no more information is given regarding her health on reaching Australia, and this can be related to Lord’s provision as she no longer required acute medical attention. In the same token, the fact that an experienced cults deprogrammer is easily deprogrammed by amateur cult girl means that Christians ought not to take Satan’s power for granted. Rainer (2013) says that true Christians should always appreciate their limitedness in grace and always pray hard to remain charged with the Holy Spirit (p. 49). Such is well depicted in this film as unbelievers are easily swayed into anti-Christianity by the forces of darkness.

With this regard, this film reiterates the saying that laborers will labor in vain if not with God’s favor and assistance. As such, Painter (2009) says that Lord’s help only comes when humans accept Him and appreciate His presence in all that they are doing (p. 111). Consequently, it is possible to argue that Ruth’s parents managed to find her, or rather develop concerns with her relationship with cult because they, the parents, had true love for God and their daughter. On the other hand, it is also arguable that Ruth also fell into the cult because she lacked true love for her Lord and that she wanted to do things her way. With this respect, the Ruth managed to find an easy companion in the Baba because they were for the same agenda, that of satisfying personal desires and living a structural life which is seldom in true Christianity. While we are told that Miriam got infected with Asthma, no more information is given regarding her health on reaching Australia, and this can be related to Lord’s provision as she no longer required acute medical attention. In the same token, the fact that an experienced cults deprogrammer is easily deprogrammed by inexperienced cult girl means that Christians ought not to take Satan’s power for granted. Linda (2012) says that true Christians should always appreciate their limitedness in grace and always pray hard to remain charged with the Holy Spirit (p. 129). Such is well depicted in this film as unbelievers are easily swayed into anti-Christianity by the forces of darkness.

In the same token, the film Martha Marcy May Marlene also talks about cult life and the family as well as God’s relationship. The video is based on a lady whose actual name is Martha, but who has been given a cult-world name of Marcy May. As such, the video starts by showing Martha while trying to quit the un-Godly way where she urgently needs rehabilitation. Martha is tired of being used as a sex vessel and has now started realizing her true being. However, as shown by the film, moving from these influential cults that a majority of youth have and are continuously joining is never easy. Martha has a sister by the name Lucy who is married by Ted. The couple lives on the lake side far from where Martha has been exercising her cult life. As such, Martha calls Lucy on reaching a nearby town after escaping from the Catskill based abusive cult and out of siblings’ love Lucy reaches her immediately and offers her shelter in their house. Consequently, Martha has made the first step in the way of salvation which is realizing one’s failure, and taking any possible action to quit. On the other hand, Lucy also does the sound work of a good Samaritan in offering a helping hand to her sister in a time of need and such is essential to all broken hearts. However, Martha’s cult is deeply planted within her soul to the extent of requiring a specialist other than her sister who expects that all is well after bringing her into her room and catering for her material needs. Such is in line with John (1995) who argues that helping a fellow human being exceeds a mere provision of physical properties (p. 97-113).

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Moreover, the film shows Martha acting in a weird manner that makes her brother in law to wonder her. She, for instance, does not care about nudeness even when in the presence of her sister and brother in law which is purely because of the behaviors she was used to, while in the cult. Furthermore, Martha often wants to share her sister’s bed with her husband as she was used to sleeping with Patrick, the cult head, and other women of the same bed. That shows that fighting the devil is never an easy task. Additionally, Martha seems to identify other cult members in all places when she visits with her sibling’s family and that makes her determination towards quitting cultism wear out. Such is a replica of what Christians undergo in their daily life as they endeavor to refrain from serving the devil. Debra (2008) says that the devil does not let go his members easy and further links that to the numerous backsliding of devoted Christians (p. 269).

The 2004 film, The Village, is one that narrates how a cult-ran community has distanced itself from the rest of the twenty-first-century communities by securing its borders and isolating itself from the rest. As such, the community described in the film exists as if it lives during the nineteenth century. For instance, the community’s cult has allowed its members to die from simple illnesses that have a cure in the twenty-first century. The community’s leadership is living on a lie that it has inculcated into its members and thus making them live in great fear. The society is surrounded by thick forest that the members believe have evil spirits which are commonly referred to as “Those We Don’t Speak Of.” As such, the selfishness of letting people die is overtaken when one of the elders’ wife becomes ill. The elder; Edward Walker, goes against his fellow kin and decides to send her daughter Ivy through the thick forest to collect medicine for her mother, the elder’s wife. On her way, her boyfriend tries to stop her by pretending to be a ghost, but unfortunately, Ivy tricks him to fall on a cliff that leads to his death. Afterward, Ivy reaches a game ranger who gives her the required drugs and leaves for home. On returning home, a group of elders realizes some hidden secrets regarding the society and unanimously decides to maintain its secrets. With this regard, the described society lives on a lie and does not appreciate the existence of true God who treasures human life, and who created all people in his likeness. Such communities are said by to be meeting their end soon as they do not appreciate fundamental aspects of humanity. Benjamin (2004, p. 98) says that such community can easily be swept up by a calamity of illness outbreak and warns that no special people ought to victimize a whole community the same manner Edward’s family did by making them live in deceit.

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  1. Benjamin, Wisner, At Risk: Natural Hazards, People’s Vulnerability and Disasters, Psychology Press Online 2004, p. 98. ISBN 0415252164, 9780415252164.
  2. Debra, Whittington, Let’s Go to the Mountain, Xulon Press Online 2008, p. 269, ISBN, 1606478532, 9781606478530.
  3. Ebert, Roger. “Holy Smoke!”, Chicago Sun-Times, Web. 2 August 2017 <http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/holy-smoke-2000>.
  4. Evelyn, Johnson A., A Call into His Presence, Xulon Press online 2009, p. 114 ISBN 1615790934, 9781615790937.
  5. John, Paul, The Gospel of Life: On the Value and Inviolability of Human Life, Washington, D.C: USCC Online 1995, p. 97-113.
  6. Linda, Evans S. & Don Piper. When You Need a Miracle: How to Ask God for the Impossible, Baker Books Online 2012, p. 129, ISBN 080072108X, 9780800721084.
  7. Painter, Inalie, God Is: An In-Depth Study of the Character of God, Place of publication not identified: Tate Pub & Enterprises Ll, Online 2009, p.111.
  8. Rainer, Thom S. I Am a Church Member: Discovering the Attitude That Makes the Difference. Nashville, Tenn: B & H Pub. Group Online 2013, p. 49.
  9. Simpson, Joe & Tony, Colwell, Touching the Void. Cork: Book Baby, Online 2012.
  10. Simpson, Joe. Touching the Void. Perennial, ISBN 978-0-06-073055-0, Online, p. 218,
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