Saturday, January 30, 2010

When Art Inspires a Return to Reality...

by Mark Baker

I recently went to see Denzel Washington's 'Book of Eli.' I'd seen the preview weeks before and it's dark undertones of a man wondering through post-apocalyptic world wasn't as intriguing to me as was the fact that Mr. Washington also was the Producer of the film, so I was curious what drove such an accomplished actor to put so much of himself into it?

Cautionary note: To those of you who have yet to see this compelling film and desire to, please exit this post here as I don't wish to spoil the film for you; all others accept this as a 'Hold Harmless' agreement, lol.

The movie opens with Denzel traveling, alone in a vast expanse of bleak emptiness with several references to once abundant excesses that man once took for granted, now being more valuable then gold. On several occasions throughout his travels west, 'Eli' -Denzel's character- is forced to violently dispatch various cretins who would otherwise have been allowed to gain control of his most prized possession, a mysterious old leather-bound book that even we, the audience aren't even allowed to see up close, which lends support the great rareness and value of the book.

Eli (the trustee/protector of 'the book') finally encounters a future-world tyrannical despot played superbly by Gary Oldman. Oldman's character is desperately seeking through his minions, a copy of a certain book, that only he understands the inspirational power of, however, he feels that if only he can gain possession of same, he can lead (enslave actually) because he feels they have weak,simple minds and will fall prey to his manipulation with it as his tool.

As you may beginning to assume, the book in question is indeed the last copy of the King James Bible, and Eli has been 'traveling west' by faith alone to find the place where he is to deliver it. When asked 'where' that place is, he radially admits that he doesn't know, but that "it will be revealed to him" at the appropriate time.

I simply will not spoil anymore of the movie, as I hope that everybody sees this poignant, thought-provoking film. Which brings me to the point of this writing. I left the film with a flood of thoughts streaming through my head, such as: 1. Denzel Washington must be a Christian, because this is a totally non-politically-correct film given the hostile, anti-Christian environment America has become of late; 2. WOW, Denzel must be an non-apologetic Christian because...; 3. Wow, when's the last time I really poured-over my Bible? Man, I really am guilty of taking the Word of God (my God) for granted. 4. I was re-inspired to return to my 'Owner's Manual' and seek the wisdom and peace that I used to so radially enjoy from reading it daily.

To those of you who swim in the Word daily, keep swimming in it and be blessed. To those of you (like me) who had gotten away from it on a daily basis, RETURN to it, for it is very good and we need to stay in it and seek His will for us, especially in these confusing, tumultuous times.

'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'
John 1:1

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