Saturday, October 08, 2011


Bonnie and I saw the movie "Arranged" last night. It is a semi-autobiographical story based on the experience of the film's producer. The movie deals with themes of religious tolerance and choice in the context of a growing friendship between an Orthodox Jew and a practicing Moslem who are both teaching in a public school in Brooklyn, and who both are having marriages arranged for them according to the tradition of their religions.

The aspect of this film that strikes me most strongly--and there are many aspects of the film that could inspire hours of interesting discussion--is that the old soldier of the last campaign for freedom becomes the persecutor of the next generation's expression of freedom. That is, the principal in the school where they teach is an older feminist who repeatedly encourages Rochel and Nasira to drop their religious way of dress and the "superstitions" of their fathers, whom she assumes are forcing them to dress the way they do. The principal condescendingly declares to them, "There has been a woman's movement, you know. I went through it." She does not seem realize that she has become the oppressor.

As an Orthodox Christian convert who fought hard to find the "True Faith" in the Holy Orthodox Church, I wonder if I am sometimes like that principal. How often do I assume that I know what is good for someone else? How often do I assume that someone else's life needs fixing and I know how to fix it? How often do I assume that the Holy Spirit is guiding me when in reality I just want to re-create someone else in my own image?

I recommend the film. It is on Netfix.

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