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|ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.|
(2003), R ... Are we not starving our own children...?
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Camelot Pictures, Mandalay Pictures
Distribution (US): Paramount Pictures
Director(s): Martin Campbell
Producer(s): Dan Halsted, Amy Lescoe, Lloyd Phillips, John D. Schofield
Written by/Screenplay: Caspian Tredwell-Owen
Cinematography/Camera: Phil Meheux
Music: James Horner
Film Editing: Nicholas Beauman
Casting: Pam Dixon Mickelson
Art Direction: Claude Paré
Viewed At: Hollywood Theaters, Burleson, Texas
Sarah Jordan (Angleina Jolie) is a well-to-do high society lady in London of 1984 and has married a modern but milquetoast man of means, Henry Bauford (Linus Roache). During a peaceful charity ball by Henry's father, Dr. Nicholas Callahan (Clive Owen) appeared with less than honorable intentions. He burst into the fund raising dinner as if he was about to spray the room with automatic gunfire. Instead, he came in armed with an animated speech and a little Ethiopian boy suffering severe malnutrition. Dr. Callahan was using intimidation to garner money for his relief efforts in Ethiopia.
In the middle of Dr. Callahan's soliloquy, someone threw a banana on the now empty dance floor. Picking it up he asked if he was now supposed to do a money imitation .... silence. Instead he gave the banana to the boy explaining the 300 calories in it was more than the boy had to eat in a week. Callahan further asked the crowd if they wanted the boy to do a monkey imitation in exchange for the food. He did. And that intimidation worked. But only on Sarah.
From that moment Sarah became consumed with the plight of the starving children. Dr. Callahan had explained the spindly young lad was dying and was one of about 30 that die per week; that the amount each of the charity ball attendees spent on a plate was enough to feed many Ethiopians. Sarah decided not only to put up her $40,000 for the Ethiopian relief efforts but to deliver the food and medical supplies it bought herself. Why would a high society woman of London traipse off to dirty and arid Ethiopia? Was her heart for the children? Or was it for something? Someone else? Ceratinly if it was someone else it was not for the creep who gave a baby a live grenade to play with.
Then Sarah got first-hand evidence of war-torn, famine-ridden Ethiopia where brutality was a way of life. Arriving at a camp Sarah noticed a toddler alone and crying. Sarah ordered the driver to stop, nearly causing a cascade of rear-end collisions between the four trucks of supplies. Hurling herself out of the truck and scooping up the boy, Sarah noticed his mother dying just a few feet away. Against adamant argument from the driver who took the attitude of "So what!? They are dying!" Sarah took the boy and his mother to Dr. Callahan. Callahan did a quick triage on the mother and decided she was dying and there was nothing that could be done: that the toddler, too, was dying and there was nothing that could be done.
After some dog-n-cat discussion about the value of the lives of the mother and her baby, Callahan agrees to do surgery on the mother's injuries but without anesthetic -- they didn't have any. But the mother with her chest wide open and no anesthetics reassures Sarah that the pain of the surgery is less than the pain of her hunger. Sarah nourishes the boy with high energy concentrate a drop at a time. I don't see whether the mother and son make it.
Later, after Sarah returns to London and after Dr. Callahan goes to Cambodia, Sarah starts a job with the United Nations. Dr. Nick shows up with a plea to put the UN stamp on a shipment he has ready for the Cambodian refugees and explains that without the UN stamp the shipment would not likely make it to the people who need it. As it turns out, Callahan had packed some arms in the supplies for the CIA. That is why Callahan needed the UN stamp. But does that deception and corruption daunt Sarah's feelings for Callahan?
Such is the flavor of *Beyond Borders*. Everybody is hungry and everybody is dying. And it does seem to be somewhat of a vulgarization of the plight of the Ethiopians and others to make a romance wannabe movie with a backdrop of true death and dying. But a romance it is. At first, the fur flies between Dr. Callahan and Sarah. Soon, the ripping of fur becomes stroking of fur. I think it was in Cambodia that they become bed partners in adultery [Prov. 6:32]. Or was it in Chechnya after Sarah rescued Callahan? Does it matter? I think it was in Cambodia because Sarah returned to London for four years and again showed up with Callahan as a UN representative and news that he had a daughter.
One of the comments Sarah made that fit her precisely into the focus of Prov. 30:20 was her excusing of her adultery with the "marriage is over." It was obvious she wanted the adulterous relationship enough to hate her own children enough to leave them for another man, enough to disregard her commitment and the hard work it takes to build and keep a marriage. Of course she made the obligatory remarks that she was not leaving the kids, just Henry. But actions speak louder than words. And her actions set her guilt. [Eph. 5:22 - 25; Col. 3:18, 19; 1 Pet. 3:1, 1 Pet. 3:7 - 8 with emphasis on 1 Pet. 3:8, "...be ye all of one mind..."]. Husbands and wives must each "tolerate" the oddities of each other, volunteer to compromise the oddities that offend, shaping each other into a compatible pair, not a contemptible duo. We must always avoid the temptations outside the marriage which make the marriage seem burdensome, bothersome and just plain not good enough. Soap Operas are notorious for making one of the married pair set their expectations selfishly too high ... and feel entitled at the same time. There is always someone who will tell you what you have is not good enough and that you are worth more. By whose standards are you worth more? In the end, whose standards will measure your decisions. More on this, much more, if we can find full funding.
While a constant theme of adultery makes the movie bad enough, the 29 uses of the most foul of the foul words plus the 28 uses of the other words of the three/four letter word vocabulary make it downright uncomfortable [ Col. 3:8]. And the six uses of God's name in vain, though without the four letter expletive, didn't help the score either. Yes, it is sinful to use God's name in the ever popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the various uses of Jesus' name in a like exclamatory manner [Deut 5:11]. The brutality, the two cold blooded gunfire murders, the murderous endangerment of a baby, the attempted gunfire murder and the many military killings didn't help the score if it either. The listing in the Findings/Scoring section will provide all that was noted.
But there is room for thought in one of the "messages" of the movie, the message about saving the starving children. Are we not starving our own children in a Spiritual sense? [Matt. 10:42] You fill in the blanks.
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***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Single Christian Network
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|