3 Stars – VISUAL PARABLE
The theological question of how a loving, all-powerful God would create a world where bad things happen to good people is an ancient conundrum. The biblical book of Job written around 3,000 years ago explores this question by creating a drama where the dialogue of the characters posits various solutions and assumptions but leaves the question far more a mystery than does De Miller’s God Where Are You?
Created as a visual parable with a clear intention to provide answers to this ancient question, De Miller’s story presents not a righteous man, but nevertheless a modern Job in the form of a wealthy boxing champion named Remo “Sonny” Boone (Wade Williams). At the top of his game as a two-time boxing champion, Boone pounds a younger boxer after the referee tries to stop him and causes his death. This action causes Boone to lose everything from his girlfriend to his home, his cars, his bank accounts and his friends. It is in this place of despair that he decides that there is no God.
It is into this place that a mystical meeting occurs with Malachi Carpenter (Kibwe Dorsey), a soft-spoken giant of a man who befriends Boone in the darkness outside a small diner. Cryptic but compassionate Malachi slowly provides the opportunity for Boone to change the focus of his soul from that of being a victim to a person of hope. Though the method is more mystical than pastoral as fits the parabolic form of the film, Boone’s heart begins a journey that is spiritually beneficial.
Though we won’t tell the twists and turns of this journey or its feel-good conclusion in which everything is woven together into a morality tale, the conversations that are created do help us to think about God’s providential care, our own free will and the necessary consequential results, how gratitude and hope are inextricably bound and the ever-present love of God regardless of our choices or circumstances. In these conversations, the film provides opportunity for thoughtful dialogue both while viewing and in subsequent conversations.
- It is difficult to imagine Boone blaming God for his behaviors which led to his personal and economic collapse. Do you believe that all people blame God for their difficulties or do they have to have had some foundation of belief in the past to do so? Why do you answer as you do?
- The book of Job in the Old Testament does not answer the question as neatly as this film. Do you think this is because we have a better understanding of good and evil since we also have Jesus’ and the New Testament teachings to further enlighten us or is this film merely over-simplifying a complex reality?
- The use of a diner to nourish the famished souls of people is a helpful metaphor. Why do you think De Miller chose to make it mystical rather than real? Would the message of the film be more acceptable to a larger audience if the diner did have a night manager who used his position to help those in despair? Why do you answer as you do.________________