Saturday, 9 February 2008

Inspirational films

Over the last few months I've seen some little-known, but inspirational, films.

I'll start with the last first. Joyeux Noel is based on the true story of the 1914 truce, when German, French and British troops fraternised on the front on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

It captured the amazingness (is that a word?) - and sometime knife-edge ambiguity - of sworn enemies approaching each other with peace in mind.

Especially poignant was the scene where a French soldier in German disguise is shot. I won't give any more away, you'll have to see it.

It's also amazing that this was the director's second feature film, his first period piece and the first to involve so many cast.

Last year we also saw Mother Teresa and Bonhoeffer: Agent of Grace.

Not exactly popcorn-munching entertainment, but powerful stories that packed a punch. For me the test of a historical movie, especially a biopic, is whether it makes me want to find out more about the real person. These films did it in both cases.

Maybe that's where Hollywood purists would disagree, but I see a lot of potential for movies to educate - after all, they serve as proxy for much that goes under the name of literature and education.

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