Monday, April 18, 2011
Holy week at the movies: The Insatiable Moon on Monday
The fact that popular media culture is an imaginative palette for faith … the church has to take that imaginative palette seriously… if part of the pastoral task of the church is to communicate God’s mercy and God’s freedom in a way that people understand then you have to use the language that they’re using, you have to use the metaphors and forms of experience that are already familiar to them. Tom Beaudoin
Only last week, The Insatiable Moon became available in New Zealand on DVD. It is a fitting way to start the journey of Holy week.
“The Insatiable Moon,” introduces John, walking the streets of Ponsonby, with a commitment to bless every passing wall and bench and his friend Arthur, who believes he is the second son of God. With their boarding house under threat from Ponsonby gentrification, Arthur senses a mission from God, first to save his psychiatric haven and second to shower his love on the Queen of Heaven.
Kiwi movies tend to be bred with a dark underbelly, from the haunted hills of “Vigil” to the secrets buried “In My Fathers Den.” “The Insatiable Moon,” a film dealing with the clash between mental health and urban gentrification, has a similar potential. Happily, the movie demonstrates a simple commitment to bless contemporary life, infusing human pain and suffering with an earthy humour and gentle mystery.
Two scenes – one pastoral, the other prophetic – remain etched in one’s memory long after the final credits roll. These scenes showcase Mike Riddell’s remarkable talent, the artist’s ability to sketch life, the mystic’s eye for the spiritual in the ordinary.
The first is the funeral of John (Mike Innes) and the pastoral drama created by the open mic and the pain of colliding narratives. It allows a superbly theological reflection on God and the suffering of being human. The scene is a must see for all those who stake allegiance to a God of love in a world of suffering.
The second is the public meeting, another collision of narratives, this time of developer with Ponsonby locals. Arthur’s entrance is superb, a powerful enactment full of strength, oratory and tenderness. Another must see scene for all those who yearn for prophetic transformation in our urban communities today. A powerful way to ponder the events of Holy week.
Mark 11:15-16 On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts.