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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2005), NR ["Lite" PG*] (1hr 12min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Production (US): Vision Forum Ministries, The faith of Our Fathers Project
Distribution (US): Vision Forum Ministries
Viewed on: Vision Forum Ministries DVD
I was supposed to analyze this documentary film as a gratuity to Vision Forum for Memorial Day 2006. Due to a communication error I am just now getting to it. But maybe that is serendipitous in light of the July 4th period upon us. We have kept our independence because of men like these.
The press kit reads:
The League of Grateful Sons is not just another war film-it is the true story of how faithful fathers and honoring sons returned to the black sands of Iwo Jima on the sixtieth anniversary of the epic battle and unearthed generational lessons for the sons and daughters of our day. This powerful movie will leave you grateful for America's heroic World War II fathers and motivated to supersede them.
More than 406,000 American men died during the Second World War, leaving an estimated 183,000 children fatherless. Of the 3.9 million WWII veterans still alive, more than 1,000 die each day. Soon there will be none. This is our last opportunity to say thank you.
I missed that opportunity. On April 7, 2006 my father, disabled veteran of the New Guinea, Philippine and Guam battles, joined the 1,000 who die each day. As he lie in the casket with WWII shrapnel still in him, I saluted him. But he did not see the expression of gratitude ... because I waited too long. If you have a veteran father or grandfather, don't wait a moment longer to thank him. Please.
The press kit is correct. This is a documentary film about the American heroes who fought the 36-day battle on the Iwo Jima volcano island with its miles of underground tunnels and 1500 caves which hid the suicidal enemy in this war of Christendom and Statism. The very survival of the Christian civilization depended on the outcome of the conflict. - Winston Churchill.
Sidebar Note: Little did Prime Minister Churchill know that since he made this declaration that Christendom would face its greatest battle from within by a far more insidious enemy than a Japanese emperor.
Hundreds of thousands of other U.S. troops did return, but many never connected with their children. However, within the ranks of these survivors was a remarkable collection of men who made it their life mission to speak the providences of God and the meaning of manhood to the boys who would one day fill their shoes. Through wartime letters [armed services handled more than one billion pieces of mail in WWII] and present-day pilgrimages to the bloody battlefields of their youth, the ancient warriors have spoken. Their thankful children rise to honor and surpass their legacy. They are The League of Grateful Sons.
At the heart of this film is the deeply emotional, tearful visitation of the elderly heroes who fought on the black sand beaches and crawled the brush sixty years ago. The film blends into the tapestry the fabric of imparting to the younger generations our honorable duty to be grateful: grateful for what these men did for us; for what they did that I may sit here and tell you of this film; for what they did that you might be able to read this. The film encourages and nurtures whatever sliver of gratitude we may still have for our fathers and their fathers who fought, especially those who died on those black sands.
Many times young people who have never been in combat have argued to me that Hollywood's fanfare films of warfare such as Saving Private Ryan and Thin Red Line "tell it like it is." They seem to all echo that such films show how war really is. To each of them I say if they want to learn of the reality of warfare without experiencing it first-hand to talk with their fathers and grandfathers and ask them about warfare: that if they want to know about real warfare to view actual file footage if their fathers permit. This film does both -- encourages veteran fathers and grandfathers to talk to their sons and their sons to listen. And it uses a few clips of actual file footage. Men die in the file footage clips in this film and there are dead men in them. Just as in real war.
Our studies have shown a decay in the general matter of honor and respect, especially for our parents since 1955. This film corroborates that finding. One of the more poignant matters of note in this documentary is of the attitude of respect, honor and gratitude by the men of World War II and of that era in general. Such nobility is so far from the attitudes portrayed in Hollywood's modern war films that the difference is like night and day. Fathers of the day knew it was their duty to talk to their sons who may one day have to stand in their stead. Fathers knew they had to invest in the lives of their sons. Even God strongly advised fathers to talk to their sons. [Deut. 6:7, Deut. 32:7]
They [the families of the 30s and 40s] were so far closer to the historic Christian patterns of the west than our current generation can even understand. There was a love of family life. - Douglas W. Phillips.
It was a time when family was the nucleus of American life: where fathers were the responsible agents. One of the posters of the day read This is America ... where the family is a sacred institution. Where children love, honor and respect their parents ... where a man's home is his castle. This is your America ... Keep it Free! [Exod. 20:12]
Where have all the "flowers" gone?
With a final score of 86, The League of Grateful Sons: Hope. Heroes. Generations. is one point under the scoring range earned by G-rated films (100 to 87 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. That score makes it equivalent to a very "Lite" PG. The only reason this film lost any points at all was the images of actual warfare. Warfare imagery is inherent with the topic but it is still violence and you might want to know about it before you decide whether to view this film with or without your children.
Because of the violence content, the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area found enough material to cause the loss of almost all of its starting 100 points. Again, it is a documentary about war. One can expect violence. However, the CAP Analysis Model is completely objective and could not care less whether the film is a documentary or one of Hollywood's gorefest films. We report on what is there. You decide for your family whether a film is fit. Not us. Not the MPAA. Nor the filmmakers.
But each of the other five investigation areas lost no points whatsoever. There is no foul language whatsoever. No kids screaming obscenities at their parents. No sexual immorality. No use or references to the use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs. Nor is there a single use of God's name in vain with or without the four letter expletive. Since the CAP Analysis Model incorporates matters of war killing in the Wanton Violence/Crime investigation area, there are no murders or suicides noted.
I am not going to reveal any more detail about this documentary. We provide the Findings/Scoring section in the hopes that it will provide you with enough information to help you to make an informed moral decision about which age stratum this film is fit.
If you have feelings to share with your veteran father/grandfather, this documentary should prove to be a very good "ice breaker."
We are the recipients of the blessings our veteran fathers and grandfathers secured for us. Pick up the baton, son. Carry on.
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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)
Christian Educators Association International
|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.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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