This is an extraordinary film, following two first world war soldiers through the chaotic trenches, across a corpse-strewn no man’s land and into bombed and burning villages, on a mission to deliver a vital, life-saving message.
The way this film is shot, in a single camera take, makes the experience so vital, so immediate. As part of the audience I felt plunged into the squalor, hardship and bloodshed in an extraordinary way. In this moment below the two friends watch a dog fight with an unexpected outcome…
This is a story of tremendous courage in the face of absolute terror and danger. Two men electing to go on a mission for the sake of others. The Bible features many courageous people who lay themselves on the line to help others. We might think of young David, taking on Goliath when no one else would, and the odds seemed stack against him. Esther, risking her life to confront the king about corruption in the royal court and the plot to kill her people, drawing on all her faith, strength and wits to communicate with him. Mary saying her yes to God when she had absolutely no idea where this would take her. Three men we may not be so familiar with, part of David’s small army, took it on themselves to break through enemy lines in order to fetch him water to drink. Oddly David was so moved he wouldn’t then drink the water, but poured it out as an offering to God. It seems he was so moved by the courage and devotion of his men, Jashobeam, Eleazar and Shammah, that he saw the precious water as representing their very lives. Still, their story is told here in 2 Samuel chapter 23 v 13-17. Their courage and dedication comes down the ages to spur us on. I am not a brave person, not at all. So I need the inspiration of others who have done these extraordinarily courageous things, to keep on doing the small things. And of course, in following Jesus we not only look to him for inspiration, but receive the strength of his presence and Holy Spirit to help us keep going. ‘Be strong in God,’ Paul encourages us, ‘keep going in the power of his strength.’ Ephesians 6 v 10.
Thanks for these thoughts Dave. To be honest the film sounds excellent but harrowing. I know many men who came back from the trenches were severely traumatised. Not sure I can stomach this one Dave.
Thanks for these thoughts Dave. The film sounds very good but harrowing. Not sure I can stomach the visceral terror of it all.