Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Great Movies--Mrs. Miniver

My wife and I continue to raid the classic vaults of Netflix, especially Best Picture Oscar winners, and this week we polished off the 1942 Academy Award winner "Mrs. Miniver."
The film is kind of a war movie for chicks. It follows the soft and pretty yet oh-so determined English housewife as she transitions from afternoon shopping trips to serving tea to her husband in a bomb shelter as the Nazis pound on Great Britian.
The film was made at the beginning of WWII and is obviously propoganda aimed at selling America (and the rest of the world) that the Brits are not just uppity, tea swilling crumpet monkeys but can give as good as they get. Yet, propoganda is not always wrong. For example, go review some of the WWII films produced by the War Department and compare them with what we now know about the Japanese death marches and, of course, the Nazi prison camps: pretty tame stuff.
The most interesting image of this so-so film is the last shot where the town is gathered for a church service and the minister is assuring the congregation that they will carry on as the camera pans up to reveal that bombs have ripped the church in two and British fighters can be seen soaring toward Germany. Such an image would outrage my emergent friends but let me gently remind them that this is not an act of the Kingdom twisted into the "theology of empire" but the Kingdom oppossing a truly evil empire. Not to mention that, as Rob Bell all but states in Everything is Spiritual, that one cannot divorce anything, including war and foreign policy, from the Christian life or as one of my heroes once said, "Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition."