This choice is made even more difficult when my favorite trusty website, Rotten Tomatoes, shows a good rating for a film or show on the topic. (As my friends know, I trust the site's averages [sample size dependent] wholeheartedly.)
So, when I saw that the new film version of All Quiet on the Western Front had a 92% with 99 reviews, I had to do some discernment.
I did end up watching it. The opening scenes were mostly piles of dead, bloody bodies, and people stacking piles of dead, bloody bodies. That made me cry.
And now I am writing this blog in response.
When I was teaching, I kept this classic poster somewhere in each of my classrooms.
Here's a poem I love... Bees by Alden Solovy
Do not stop
Murder each other
The bees think:
On the evolutionary scale
Must those humans be,
That they haven’t yet
How to make honey
When will those wildflowers in our backyard begin blooming?
I taught in a Quaker school for a year, and we weren't even to put war into the curriculum. It's debatable on a lot of levels, but it's what we did. We also had a tribute assembly at that school when Pete Seeger died.
Josh Ritter, one of my favorite artists, sings some of the best contemporary anti-war music I've found.
Old Monk has a quote on the wall of her office...
"I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask: 'Mother, what was war?'"
Gets me every time.
May we walk into the Advent season with the Peace of Christ in our hearts and in our voices.
Let us walk in the holy presence.