Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I've been watching the movie Magnolia today. It's Tuesday. Otherwise known as movie day. Some will disagree with me, but Magnolia is the most powerful, well acted, masterfully made, and spiritually moving film ever created.

Everyone should see this movie. However, it's fairly unpopular. It runs slightly over 3 hours long. For me it is an emotionally draining film to watch. It is also incredibly vulgar and in many areas sexually explicit. IMDB claims it drops 190 F-bombs....and that may be a conservative estimate. There is also a lot of drug abuse.

It's a hard movie to watch.

The depth of this film is just incredible. The pain of the characters is transmitted so masterfully onto the viewer. Every single tiny thing in this movie is placed deliberately. There is nothing that a character says at any time that can be 'thrown away.' If you are good at observing things and REALLY watching a movie, you will appreciate the richness of the film.

The movie (again) is full of pain. It's haunting. The characters are full of pain, hopelessness, regret, conflict, fear and confusion. But the movie is a story of hope and ultimately freedom. It's a film of redemption. And for every character to get to that point of redemption they must deal with their troubles and address everything that they are hiding. When they won't do this, when they won't forgive or find forgiveness, when they won't free themselves from what is keeping them captive, God intervenes to release them. To redeem them. And to forgive them.

It's not pretty. It never is. But it's necessary. There's nothing pretty about God's redemption of the Israelites in the Old Testament. And to say that God's redemption of us in the New Testament is "not pretty" would be an understatement. Redemption is an ugly, painful, terrible process. We need to learn that.

As the book says, "We may be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us."

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