Film Friday: Anthropoid

In 1942 seven Czechoslovakian soldiers are parachuted secretly back into their own country with the express purpose of assassinating Hitler’s third in command, Reinhard Heydrich, the cruel ‘Butcher of Prague’. Operation Anthropoid is a highly dangerous mission, and not only for these soldiers, but for those who live in Prague who will surely suffer reprisals if the mission is successful. Two of the soldiers, Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik, befriend local women, who are part of the resistance movement.

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Jan and Josef and the other soldiers cannot complete this operation without the help of local people, and on one occasion all those involved are issued with cyanide pills which they are to carry at all times. They know the cost here and cannot afford to be captured in case they give away information which endangers the lives of others. All are incredibly courageous, under no illusion about the gravity of their situation. All are 100% dedicated to the mission. The day of the assassination dawns…

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The first and second world wars continue to bring us true stories of incredible heroism and sacrifice. I grew up watching an earlier version of this story, Operation Daybreak, and never forgot the scenes from that telling. The first Christians were resistance fighters of sorts, covertly battling the might and oppression of Rome and its systems, and willing to lay their lives on the line for what they believed. The institution of godparents was created because the Romans might arrest Christian parents and take them away from their children at any moment. Jesus had ushered in a new age, a new way of living with God in your life, and this challenged the controlling religious and political systems of the day, as it continues to do now. I recently heard a review of a new film Alone in Berlin, about a man who, having lost his son on the German front line, decides to fight back against the Nazis by leaving postcard messages all over the city. Informing people and encouraging them to live differently. Jesus described his own work as something like this, like a farmer scattering seeds, or a father distributing little postcards; messages of love and freedom designed to lead people out of oppression and darkness. And then he invited his followers to continue that work in his strength, being like little lights for the world, reflecting his way and hope to others.

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