SHARK TANK is an inspiration to all those who have the American dream. In Episode 4.20, the sharks not only confront some interesting, unique out of the box ideas but also show how their previous investments have succeeded.
One unique idea was for a foam drop stop that you put between the seat and your car to prevent you from losing your keys or your change. A simple but brilliant idea got a lot of discussions from the sharks, especially how do you make money back from a previously funded idea was a way of identifying and killing bed bugs, which has now taken off across the country. One idea was to market lionfish as a food because lionfish imported from the Pacific are destroying the eco-system of the Atlantic. None of the sharks bit, because capturing the lionfish was too hard.
The most exciting idea was from a young lady, named Lani Lazzari, who came up with a cosmetic called Simple Sugars when she was a young girl with extreme eczema. Her cosmetics help people with skin problems, but can’t be billed or marketed for their medical benefits. Now, as a teenager, Lani wants to expand her business. Mark Cuban said his children suffer from eczema, and Lani landed a shark. Better than that, she said she wants to tell every teenager how to be a great entrepreneur. She was an inspiration. After the show, Lani reportedly did $600,000 in business for Simple Sugars.
MOVIEGUIDE® gives out an award for free enterprise. For too many years, the entertainment industry, which thrives on free enterprise, created stories attacking free enterprise. SHARK TANK, DUCK DYNATSY, and a few other shows are showing the benefits of free enterprise. To show how free enterprise works, SHARK TANK is must viewing.
SECRET MILLIONAIRE is a heartbreaking, tearful, uplifting TV program.
In this episode, George and Kym Rapier are multi-millionaires from San Antonio who own a medical company to help the elderly. Their job as secret millionaires is to go to Oakridge, Oregon, a timber town that used to be prosperous but is now bust.
The Rapiers go undercover as documentarians. They live in a trailer in the town for a week and drive a beat up old car. Each person they meet they ask if they can volunteer. So, they end up serving food at the football game, packing luncheons for the school children because the school district can no longer afford lunches, helping the one remaining healthcare practitioner, and aiding the fire department. They are amazed that these people in this small town struggling so hard are filled with goodness, loyalty, compassion, and caring for each other. At the end of the week, they reveal themselves and give away more than $1.3 million to help the town. For instance, they give money for a new ambulance, money for another doctor and an X-ray machine, money for school luncheons, and so forth.
This episode of SECRET MILLIONAIRE emphasizes real Christian charity and selfless giving. The church is an integral part of the show, and George and Kym acknowledge how blessed they are. This is Reality TV at its best. It doesn’t show the back-biting and meanness of some Reality TV shows, but shows the Fruit of the Holy Spirit, decency, and integrity. How this got on the air is amazing.
December 7, 2013 marks the 72nd Anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. To avoid WWIII America needs to have the strength and determination to deter those who would consider starting it. These movies show what happens when you lack the necessary resolve before you’re attacked but show incredible resolve once you’ve been attacked. They show the absolutely horrible price the world pays for appeasing tyrants. This list focuses on big budget movies made from 1957 onward. There were many great ones made prior to this, as well as many great smaller movies.
Not necessarily in order of recommendation:
1. TORA! TORA! TORA!
This 1970 movie deals directly with the attack on Pearl Harbor. Tora! Tora! Tora! was the Japanese code for the surprise attack. With tremendous production values, this excellent epic movie shows Japanese Admiral Tamamoto telling his commanders they are about to awake a sleeping giant. He was right. The giant should not have been sleeping. TORA! TORA! TORA! is a first-rate depiction of the attack, from both the American and the Japanese perspective.
A Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum classic about the American defense of a small critical island the Japanese wanted to take as an air base. With great sea battles, America defended the island and turned the tide in the Pacific theater. One of the most patriotic movies of the 1970s, as well as well worth watching.
3. BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
The Academy Award Winning story of British prisoners in the Pacific theater forced to build a bridge by the Japanese. This is a classic David Lean drama with superb acting by Alec Guinness, William Holden, and others. It’s not to be missed.
4. THEY WERE EXPENDABLE
This is Director/Producer John Ford’s classic war movie about what happened in the Philippines after the Japanese attacked America’s forces there and at Pearl Harbor. As such, it tells the immediate aftermath of those attacks and how the United States struggled to get back on its feet in the wake of Pearl Harbor. It features one of John Wayne’s best performances, as well as one of Robert Montgomery and Donna Reed’s best performances (Donna would go on to make one of the greatest movies of all time, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, as George Bailey’s loving wife, in one of the greatest, most poignant female performances of all time).
5. THE LONGEST DAY
John Wayne, Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, and Richard Todd head an all-star cast in this 168-minute movie about D-Day. The movie wanders from place to place, telling stories of those fighting different battles that day. THE LONGEST DAY is another first-rate depiction of one of the most important battles in not only American history, but also human history.
6. MEMPHIS BELLE
MEMPHIS BELLE is the story of the crew of a B-17 bomber stationed at a US airbase in England and its 25th and final mission into Germany. It’s one of the few patriotic war movies made in the 1990s. It’s also a rousing, enthralling movie.
7. AIR FORCE
AIR FORCE is one of the most exciting, patriotic World War II movies. Like THEY WERE EXPENDABLE, it shows the immediate aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, focusing on a brave band of Army Air Force servicemen manning one of the few American planes that escaped destruction. Leading the All-American crew is John Garfield and the inimitable Harry Carey (MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON), with a fun turn by George Tobias of SERGEANT YORK, a great character actor from Hollywood’s Golden Age.
8. PEARL HARBOR
A spectacular big budget war movie dealing with the “day that will live in infamy.” It stars Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett as two pilots who must fight off the Japanese as they fight each other for the love of the same nurse. It is redemptive, but includes foul language and implied sexual immorality, so caution is advised.
Gregory Peck played General Douglas MacArthur who was recalled by FDR from the Philippines and promised to return. The movie chronicles his return and his role in post war Japan and in the Korean War.
George C. Scott won best actor for the lead role in this story of the controversial general who was both pompous and successful. The movie won seven Academy Awards. It’s masterful filmmaking that turned out to be much more patriotic than the filmmakers originally intended. Has some strong foul language, so caution is advised.
The still-living father of the leading writer of this piece is a World War II pilot who flew on D-Day and at Market Garden (A BRIDGE TOO FAR). He was 23-years-old in 1944 and, like so many young men, was given great responsibility and sent to face grave danger. We owe it to those who risked their lives and those who gave their lives not to let this happen again.
The fight for freedom begins here at home with the fight to maintain a predominantly Christian worldview. Appeasement, socialism, pacifism, and multiculturalism undermine resolve and lead to war; they don’t prevent it.
Watch these movies and ask yourself if you want America’s young men sent in far greater numbers overseas to die fighting tyrants emboldened by weak, self-serving leaders.
FILLY BROWN is about life in a part of Los Angeles most people would not want to go near. The vulgar, drug infested, violent lifestyle should help keep people away from parts of Los Angeles and this movie.
Filly Brown, the heroine of the movie, is hardly heroic. She engages in crime, dishonesty and plagerism in an effort to raise money to help get her mother out of prison. She then learns that the money was really to pay off drug dealers who her mother was running up a tab with. An effort is made to make Filly look like an idealist forced to become a sexy rap singer to raise money for her mother. Unfortunately, her idea of idealism is rap tunes expressing bitterness toward those who look down on and mistreat people like herself.
Filly’s father is presented as noble when he turns down an opportunity for considerable contracting work because the person offering the contract wanted a foreman who looked “respectable” (neatly dressed as opposed to covered in tatoos).
The irony is that a movie like FILLY BROWN would only make most people want to move further away from Los Angeles. Most people don’t want to live in a neighborhood where sentences are punctuated with “F” words, men search for rare places left to add a new tatoo and drug dealers drive around ready to engage in urban warfare. FILLY BROWN will never be mistaken for an L.A. tourism promotion piece.
While the movie does end with themes of forgiveness and life change, it’s not driven by repentance in the Christian sense. People can realize their life is a mess and try to change, but the most remarkable transformation is when someone seeks God’s forgiveness and a new life led by the Spirit of God. In Los Angeles there are no doubt many true stories of life transformation through Jesus Christ. Had FILLY BROWN been such a story it would have been a much better, and more successful movie.
Jesus Christ is the one who offers true hope to communities like the one portrayed in FILLY BROWN. Jesus can clean up bad language, cure drug addictions and even turn drug dealers into kind, loving and honest neighbors. We need more movies that offer this solution.
PHILOMENA stars Judy Dench as an Irish Catholic woman searching for her son who was taken from her almost 50 years ago. Although Dench’s simple Christian character is viewed as somewhat heroic, the movie ends up being a politically correct attack on the Roman Catholic church and traditional Christian views of marriage and homosexuality.
During her youth, Philomena became pregnant out of wedlock. Not knowing what to do, her father put her in the convent. Philomena had to work in the laundry mat in order for the nuns to take care of her child, Anthony. The nuns would only allow Philomena and the other mothers visit their children for an hour a day, saying that they need to serve for their sins of impurity. One day, Philomena watches as little Anthony is taken away for adoption.
Completely in distress, Philomena spends 50 years looking for Anthony. A journalist, Martin, hears about Philomena’s situation and decides to take on the story as a human-interest article. Martin has been very angry with his life after being accused of saying something offensive and being fired. Martin and Philomena start off by going to the convent, but the nuns tell Philomena their records have been burned in a fire.
When at the local bar near the Convent, Martin and Philomena get some info from the bartender, who tells them the many of the children adopted from the convent went to America. So, Martin and Philomena decide to hop on a plane and go to Washington D.C. There, Martin has an epiphany of who Anthony is. He realizes he met him many years before, when Anthony was an influential Republican and a closeted homosexual. Another pivotal moment occurs when Martin and Philomena meet with one of Anthony’s closest friends, but it only make Philomena’s task of finding closure even more challenging.
Once again, Judy Dench does a completely believable job playing the title character in PHILOMENA. Although Dench’s simple Christian character is viewed as somewhat heroic, the movie ends up being a politically correct attack on the Roman Catholic church and traditional Christian views of marriage and homosexuality. The movie often uses humor to religious faith. The journalist is an atheist who’s completely rejected God and spends most of the movie mocking religion. Finally, the nuns are seen as the real villains. They lie during the entire movie and are depicted as having a mean attitude toward Philomena and the other girls with an unwed pregnancy. Their evil is contrasted with Philomena’s simple, but relatively amoral, faith, including her spirit of forgiveness. The ultimate effect of all this is to turn Jesus into a liberal wimp who makes no moral demands or moral judgments whatsoever. Of course, in the Book of Mark, the first public advice Jesus gives to people begins with the word, “Repent” (Mark 1:15). PHILOMENA’s Romantic worldview also seems to be promoting the radical pro-homosexual agenda of the Anti-Christian Left. The movie also contains some strong, but brief, foul language, and a politically correct attack on Republican conservatives promoting traditional family values.
56 UP is the eighth in a series of documentaries about 12 English children growing up. The series began when the children were seven and is filmed every seven years. The original concept was to show the different lives of some rich and some poor children.
The most remarkable thing about the series is the development of the families – marriage, children, grandchildren, divorces, and second marriages. Rich or poor, liberal or conservative, the importance of family stands out. One family moved to Australia and one family to the United States. The saddest character in the story is the one who decided not to have children, because he feared passing down some mental health issues. He didn’t marry, either.
56 UP is more than two hours, so there’s a lot of talk, talk, talk. However, this is to be expected considering the movie’s nature. Some of the participants resent being lifetime public spectacles and some have refused to participate some years. One of the remarkable things is to see the growing wisdom acquired with age. Clips from 7, 14, and 21-years-old show a lack of understanding, direction and purpose. As time goes on, people settle into careers and family responsibilities. Clips from age 56 show a deep concern for the next generation and occasionally some remorse.
56 UP isn’t a movie for everyone, but for some it will be fascinating. It’s interesting that some of the interviewees actually look better at 56 than they did at 14 or 21. While some look a bit worn and tattered, others have aged with grace and dignity.
Producer Anant Singh is recognised as South Africa’s preeminent anti-apartheid film producer. Previous productions of Singh include PLACE OF WEEPING, SARAFINA!, RED DUST, and CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY. Heavily funded by the South African ANC government and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, this £22 million authorized biopic, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM presents a selection of incidents from the history of South Africa and the life of Nelson Mandela that will go a long way toward further marketing the Mandela myth.
Shot for spectacle with impressive crowd scenes, the legend of Nelson Mandela is presented with numerous speeches, backed with swooning orchestration that climbs to emotional peeks whenever Nelson Mandela addresses any crowd. London born actor, Idris Alba, plays Nelson Mandela from his early days as a smooth lawyer, through his recruitment to the African National Congress (ANC), to his arrest, imprisonment, eventual release, and election as president. Naomie Harris plays Winnie, the fiery revolutionary love interest and second wife of Nelson Mandela.
The movie begins with Nelson Mandela as a teenager going through the Xhosa circumcision ritual where witchdoctors prepare youth for initiation rites. The painting of their naked bodies in white chalk, passing through the smoke of burning everything relating to their childhood and washing off in the river, with full frontal male nudity, is disturbingly depicted. Next, the Nelson Mandela character is depicted as a smooth lawyer in a three-piece suit walking past anachronistic security gates and burglar bars, which did not exist in South Africa in the 1940s.
The movie is a mythic and heroic story of man against man. In this case, it is a black man leading all black people against white people who are depicted as uniformly racist, shallow, and stupid. The filmmakers apparently believed that the best way to exalt Nelson Mandela was to depict all whites as narrow-minded, selfish, racist bigots. The first scene of whites in the movie is of them sipping champagne on a balcony, while the black workers bustle around on the streets below. Numerous fictional incidents and comments are inserted in order to reinforce this stereotype.
The timeworn cliché of the reluctant revolutionary is inserted into the story. Thus, the movie turns Nelson Mandela from a happy-go-lucky smooth lawyer confounding a white woman in the witness box, to a frustrated and angry revolutionary fighting for justice, peace, and “equality for all.”
Numerous incidents of mindless police brutality are depicted, giving the impression that, without any provocation, or reason, they would beat up, or shoot, black men, women, and children in cold blood.
Nelson Mandela’s pattern of adulterous relationships and repeated beating of his first wife are briefly touched on in a few fleeting scenes. Then, much attention is given to the romance with Winnie, who became his second wife.
In contrast to the repeated, respectful treatment of animism, Christianity is dismissed in a few striking statements and scenes. Mandela states that God only seems to answer the prayers of the Boers, and Winnie declares that there is no God who will save us, we must save ourselves!
Later, Winnie Mandela gives a revolutionary call to violence from the front of a church, where the cross is obscured. With much anger and expressions of hatred, Winnie Mandela repeatedly calls for using stones, boxes of matches, and petrol to ‘necklace’ the alleged informers and kill the enemy. One brutal burning to death of a supposed informer through the ANC’s signature necklace method is depicted. Actually, more than 1,000 black people were burnt to death by the brutal necklace murder, so publically promoted by Winnie Mandela. Many of these were elected black town councilors and mayors, but that isn’t acknowledged in this movie, which claims that blacks had no rights, no votes and no elected representatives.
Significantly, there is no mention of the Cold War context and not a scene or a reference to communism, the Soviet Union or the Communist Russian and Cuban troops engaged at that time in conventional warfare on the border of Angola and South West Africa. Also, no mention is made of the Cuban training in terrorism received by Nelson Mandela. Nor are any of the victims of his bombing campaign depicted. From the movie, one would get the impression that his “armed struggle” consisted of nothing more than night time bombings of unoccupied municipal offices and a power station. In fact, none of the ANC’s car bombings are depicted, not even the infamous Church Street bombing bloodbath. None of the ANC assassinations, such as of Bartholemew Hlopane, are depicted or mentioned. Nor is the Shell House massacre when Nelson Mandela, as head of the ANC, after his release from prison, ordered his security to open fire on unarmed Zulu protestors belonging to the INKATHA Freedom Party. At no time does one even see a hammer and sickle. The huge Soviet and South African Communist Party flags that Nelson Mandela spoke in front of are nowhere to be seen in this movie! Neither are any of the white Russian communist members of the ANC, such as Joe Slovo and Ronnie Kashril, depicted in any way in this film.
It is disturbing that this movie is due to open widely across the United States on Christmas Day. With songs of praise and hymns glorifying Nelson Mandela being sung by choirs and taught to school children, we seem to be seeing the beginning of a new religion (especially in the wake of Nelson Mandela’s recent passing).
Certainly Nelson Mandela is the pre-eminent icon and idol of the New World Order. The United Nations General Assembly has even declared July 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day! The timing of this heavily state-funded propaganda movie is interesting as the ANC, mired in corruption scandals, is heading into an election year. Many see the timing of this movie’s release as a distraction from the disastrous failures of the ANC, by rewriting history to depict the past in the worst possible light and rally the voters of South Africa behind the party of the revered Nelson Mandela.
The violence of the ANC is mostly blamed on Winnie Mandela with Nelson Mandela apparently disapproving. Even when referring to Mandela’s divorce from Winnie, Mandela’s character blames it on the apartheid government!
There are disturbing and shocking scenes of the black on black violence in the townships with axing, shooting, and hacking of men, women, and children, but no explanations given as to who was doing what to whom. At no time is any hint given that there were actually other black political parties in South Africa, such as the INKATHA Freedom Party, with whom the ANC was locked in deadly turf wars.
Throughout the movie, Nelson Mandela dominates the screen and always has the most intelligent and profound things to say. He always has the last word, even in court and in prison. No one else ever seems to have a reply for his dogmatic statements.
After all the depictions of white racism and evil, the movie concludes with Nelson Mandela commenting, “If I can forgive them, you can forgive them!” He asserts, “Peace is the only way.” The movie ends with a quote from Mandela’s autobiography, LONG WALK TO FREEDOM: “My country is not meant to be a land of hatred. People are taught to hate and they can be taught to love. Love comes more naturally than hate.”
If the movie’s message is forgiveness, then it’s a good message. However, divorced from the context of the brutal war being waged by the ANC to intimidate the people in the townships, and terrorize farmers and civilians, this movie turns communists into heroes, and Christians into villains. It also denies the depravity of man, claiming that love (apart from God) is natural and dismisses God as irrelevant.
The movie wisely stops at Mandela’s Presidential Inauguration in May 1994. That is understandable, because at two and a half hours long, the movie drags and sags at times. It is quite episodic. However, it would be relevant to note that the Nelson Mandela presidency was a disappointment and a failure in many ways. Nelson Mandela reintroduced race classification for Affirmative Action, Black Economic Empowerment, and job reservation. He legalized pornography and abortion. Violent crime exploded, with rape and child abuse increasing 400% during his presidency. The currency imploded and the ANC looted the country of billions of rands [the South African currency] through chronic corruption. Over one million babies have been killed, officially, legally, in South Africa, with taxpayer money, since Nelson Mandela forced through the Termination of Pregnancy Bill on Feb. 1, 1997.
Under Nelson Mandela’s presidency, an average of 25,000 people were murdered each year. Yet, to celebrate his birthdays, Nelson Mandela would regularly open prison doors and set many convicted criminals, including armed robbers, murderers, and rapists, free. Some of these were murdering and raping within 24 hours of being released. Well over 100,000 people were murdered under Mandela’s term as president.
To put this into perspective, in 44 years of apartheid, 18,700 people were killed in politically related violence. This included soldiers, police, terrorists, civilians, necklace murders, rioters – all victims. However, after Mandela became president in 1994, an average of 25,000 people were murdered every year. In fact, more than 67,000 whites have been murdered in South Africa since 1994, 3,000 of them farmers.
In the 1970s, even while facing terrorism, riots, and engaged in a border war with the Cubans in Angola, the SA Rand was stronger than the US Dollar. In Mandela’s first four years as president, the Rand lost 80% of its value and more than 2.8 million man days were lost to strikes. The national debt doubled under Nelson Mandela’s presidency.
Therefore, under Mandela, even with no war, no sanctions, no riots, no conscription, and with massive international aid and investment, the Rand plummeted to R10 to the Dollar. Economic deterioration and skyrocketing crime marred his presidency. The Economist at the time described Nelson Mandela’s presidency as “a failure.”
However, in today’s worldwide entertainment industry, moviegoers aren’t meant to allow facts to get in the way of a good story. So, MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM calls us to forget all these facts and to shelve our pro-life, pro-family, moral convictions and bow before this new idol, sing this politician’s praises, and effectively burn incense before the image of a new Caesar.
THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is the second installment of filmmaker Peter Jackson’s version of Tolkien’s children’s classic, THE HOBBIT. As with the first installment, Jackson has inserted more of the mythic tone to Tolkien’s story, which ultimately links up to Tolkien’s more adult classic, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, as well as his magnum opus, THE SILMARILLION. THE LORD OF THE RINGS continues the tale of THE HOBBIT to show the resulting war that occurred when Bilbo Baggins, the title character, found the Ring of Power crafted by the demonic Lord Sauron to control the world through witchcraft.
THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is a stirring epic adventure about courage. It’s about having the courage and perseverance to face your greatest fears, including your greatest adversary. It’s also about having the courage and perseverance to restore a lost kingdom destroyed by greed. Finally, it’s about helping others in need, even if that puts your own life and comfort at risk. SMAUG has a lot of strong, intense action violence, however, with a high body count, so strong caution is advised. The movie also has some really scary images.
The movie opens with a short prologue about how the wizard Gandalf joined Thorin Oakenshield, heir to the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor under the Lonely Mountain. Thorin desperately wants to unite the six other dwarf kingdoms in helping him reclaim Erebor from the evil dragon Smaug, who now sits on the great treasure Thorin’s greedy grandfather had accumulated. To do that, Thorin and his 12 dwarf companions must secretly enter the Lonely Mountain and take back from Smaug the Arkenstone, an heirloom that will show the other dwarves that Thorin has the right to rule. Gandalf advises Thorin that they will need “a burglar.”
Twelve months later, Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit burglar Gandalf has recruited, is traveling with the dwarves through the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. The forest is being invaded by darker forces, but Gandalf has decided to leave the party. Gandalf wants to discover who the evil sorcerer is that’s commanding these forces and the band of orcs hunting down Bilbo and the dwarves. To do that, he must travel to a ruined fortress lying on the western edge of the forest.
As Gandalf investigates, Bilbo and the dwarves are attacked by a swarm of giant evil spiders. Bilbo uses the Ring of Power he stole from Gollum to make himself invisible and free the dwarves, but they still need to be rescued by a band of Wood-elves, led by Legolas. The king of the Wood-elves, however, refuses to help the dwarves further. In fact, he imprisons them.
Still invisible, Bilbo sneaks into the king’s fortress and frees the dwarves again. At that moment, however, the band of orcs following the dwarves strike. The elf king orders his people not to help them, but Legolas and a female elf named Tauriel disobey their king. In a very exciting sequence, they help Bilbo and the dwarves fend off the orcs.
Eventually, Gandalf finds out who the evil sorcerer is but is captured. Also, the dwarves send Bilbo into the dragon’s lair under the Lonely Mountain to recover the Arkenstone. The question becomes, will Thorin and the dwarves come to Bilbo’s aid when the dragon awakes?
THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG is a stirring, enthralling adventure epic. Though some of the action is a bit repetitious, the movie maintains its passionate heart throughout its story. SMAUG is a terrific moral tale of courage, restoration, sacrifice, and caring for others. These moral, redemptive themes are brilliantly mixed together, partly by Tolkien’s original mythic vision, which is highly Catholic but also Christian, and partly by Director Peter Jackson’s cinematic storytelling vision and marvelous sense of bringing out the best in his talented cast. As always, Tolkien’s world is infinitely inspiring, and Jackson’s team manages, for the most part, to do it as much justice as they possibly can.
Although the moral themes are strong, the action violence and fight scenes are a little over the top. There is little gore, however, despite several decapitations of orcs. THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG also has some very scary images that are too intense for sensitive and susceptible viewers. So, strong caution is advised. That said, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG has some important lessons to teach us as we try to restore the Kingdom of God in the United States and throughout the world, not only on the micro level, in our personal relationships, but also in the macro sense. It does so in a way that’s both entertaining and soul stirring.
BARBARA is an excellent German movie about the socialist tyranny behind the Iron Curtain in East Germany.
BARBARA starts out in East Germany in 1980. East Germany was the most oppressed country in Europe under the communists. Barbara is a doctor who’s reassigned to a small provincial hospital on the coast. She was incarcerated when she was in Berlin for wanting to leave East Germany. She knows everybody is watching her every step.
Andre, the head doctor at the hospital, is an attractive man her age. He tries to befriend her, but she exposes him as just wanting to send the KGB reports of her progress. He challenges her not to think too highly of herself having been in Berlin. He tries to get her favor by telling a story about when he messed up working with an incubator.
Barbara is in love with a West German who is helping her plan her escape. He comes in with his chauffeur and beautiful Mercedes, but no one can get out. She’s planning to be picked up by a scuba diver towing a rubber boat and being taken to Denmark.
Barbara’s life is complicated by a young girl named Stella, who escaped several times from a socialist concentration camp. She hid in the woods after one escape and was bitten by a tick, which gave her meningitis. The only person she allows to treat her is Barbara.
Another young man jumped out of a third story window to escape the pain of socialism. Andre is trying to discern whether that man has a concussion or blood clot.
Eventually, Stella escapes from the concentration camp again and goes to Barbara’s apartment. Barbara’s apartment is often visited by the secret police, who search everything, including her body cavities. The question is whether Barabara escape or help Stella escape, and will Andre stop being an informer for the KGB.
BARBARA is extremely well acted. Nina Hoss gives a standout performance as the heroine. The filmmakers deftly create the atmosphere of East Germany. There are several Christian symbols woven into the movie, but they’re not stressed. However, the ultimate movie plot is about self-sacrifice to help others. This is an important movie for anyone who likes European movies to see. It shows the bleakness of a society controlled by a tyrannical state. It is similar in that way to HUNGER GAMES, but not full of action and adventure. BARBARA shows a very subtle heroine in a very oppressive society. The pacing is like a European movie, very deliberate. Also, the action is muted. However, BARBARA is commended, with a caution for older children due to brief foul language and innuendo.