The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

The thoughts expressed here are my personal thoughts and sometimes reflect my political views. As a private citizen I have every right to express these views.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Heroes on Film

Yesterday Dear Diane and I went to the movies, something we don't do very often. But it was out 44th anniversary, so movies and dinner seemed like a good choice. We saw the Ben Affleck film, "Argo," very loosely based on the escape of a group of American diplomats from revolutionary Iran in the midst of the 1979 hostage crisis. The movie tells an interesting story with a good Hollywood, edge-of-your-seat ending, but unfortunately it's also highly inaccurate in too many critical areas. I can understand the filmmakers adding some excitement to turn the story into more of a thriller. One expects that in a movie. But I am mystified as to why they felt the need to rewrite Iranian history, downplay the role of the Canadians, and misrepresent the role of both the UK and New Zealand. It was an okay movie, though, and told a story of regular, if not particularly likable, folks who were thrust into a situation demanding courage if not heroism. I actually enjoyed our later dinner at a local Mexican restaurant much more than the movie.
The Seven Martyred Trappists

If you want to watch a film depicting true heroism, let me recommend "Of Gods and Men," the story of a group of French Cistercian monks caught up in the 1990s civil war in another Muslim country, Algeria. These Trappists from Our Lady of Atlas monastery, about 40 miles south of Algiers, decided to remain despite death threats from Islamist militants. They even refused military protection, not because they wanted to die, but because the local villages couldn't also be protected. The monks enjoyed an excellent relationship with their Muslim neighbors, helping the poor and providing free medical care. These men, then, placed their trust in God, knowing that they would all likely be killed. As it happened, in March 1996, seven of the monks were abducted by nearly 20 members of the Armed Islamic Group, and were beheaded two months later after France refused to negotiate the release of detainees. Read more here. I've included the film's trailer below.


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