Sunday, February 03, 2008

Chinese movie

Yesterday I went to sleep in front of the tv, watching the British comedies (our usual Saturday night routine). I woke up in time to catch the end of a bluegrass show and then watched the next show, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival (which was great, by the way. Sometimes I'll have to post on bluegrass music.). David went to bed then (1:00), but I hadn't finished my evening scripture reading, so I stayed up to finish.

The next show was an independent film festival. I'm not a huge fan of things like that, but this one caught my attention, as it was Chinese with subtitles. I have no clue what the name of the movie was, nor do I really know how to describe the plot. I tried to tell David about it this morning. He said, "If it had been a book, you would call that the stream-of-consciousness technique, sort of like Virginia Woolf." It might have been a documentary about a Chinese film maker, who had written a script about a character who went to northern China in search of the Northern Lights. The whole movie centered around this film maker and his creation of his character--I never did figure out whether the film maker was a real person or not.

Anyway, to make a long story short, both characters (the film maker and his character) ended up in a small town called, I think, Mope (Mo-peh). If you're familiar with the area where I live, I could say it is comparable in size to Sadieville or Ballardsville. (I realize that won't be too helpful to those rare birds who happen here that aren't familiar with central Kentucky.) It was a two-store, two-road town, one school, some horse-drawn transport still going on. It was on the Siberian/Chinese border, the two countries being separated by a frozen river--it was the middle of winter, around the time of Chinese New Year (which is this week, by the way). I found the visit to the small village the most interesting part of the film, and this is what especially piqued my interest:

The film maker was staying in the home of a retired Chinese policeman. At one time, he asked the policeman what the folks in the village did at night. The policeman replied, "They all go to the Christian church. I can't go, because I'm Communist." Lo and behold, they had some footage filmed in the church of a Bible study of sorts, with a woman leading the study, and the little room was packed. There were probably 100 or more people in there, mostly folks from the age of about 40 to 60+. They were listening intently to their teacher, looking through their books to find the references she gave. Later, there was a shot of them singing some sort of song, pentatonic scale, of course, and not a recognizable tune. What surprised and delighted me, though, was that there was a church, there were people in attendance, and they appeared to be honestly trying to study the word.

Of course that wasn't the focus of the movie, it wasn't an evangelistic movie by any means, but great to know that God is still working in the Far East. Love to all, and God bless.

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