BEYOND BORDERS Add To My Top 10

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Release Date: October 24, 2003

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Clive Owen, Linus Roache, Teri Polo, Noah Emmerich, and Yorick van Wageningen

Genre: Drama

Audience: Older teenagers and
adults REVIEWER: Lisa A.
Rice BEYOND BORDERS is an epic
tale of the turbulent romance
between a relief worker/doctor
and a married American woman,
set against the backdrop of
the world's most dangerous hot
spots, such as Ethiopia and
Chechnya. Angelina Jolie stars
as Sarah Jordan, an American
living in London in 1984. She
is married to Henry Bauford
(Linus Roache), son of a
wealthy British industrialist,
when she encounters Nick
Callahan (Clive Owen), a
renegade doctor whose
impassioned plea for help to
support his relief efforts in
war-torn Africa moves her
deeply. As a result, Sarah
embarks upon a journey of
discovery that leads to
danger, heartbreak and romance
in the far corners of the
world. The movie opens with a
woman playing the piano in a
beautiful home, and a
voice-over saying, “There
must be more to this life. . .
a purpose for each of us. . .
.” The story then moves to a
fancy fund-raiser/dance for
world relief, with Sarah and
Henry enjoying themselves
thoroughly at Henry’s
father’s gala, Aid Relief
International. Suddenly, Dr.
Nick Callahan barges in with a
little African boy, Jojo, and
demands that the wealthy party
folks listen to the truth
about the disease and death
outside their comfort zones.
Nick is soon overpowered and
escorted off to jail. Soon,
Sarah Jordan is telling her
British husband that she will
be taking her last 40,000
pounds and traveling to
Ethiopia to help alleviate the
starvation and disease. Her
husband agrees to let her go,
and she makes the trip alone.
A young, black woman, who says
that missionaries taught her
to speak English, drives her
to a plateau, where she sees a
horrendous encampment of
poverty, disease and death.
Sarah insists that the driver
stop the truck. She runs out,
grabs a small, dying boy, and
has some men help her get the
boy’s wounded mother into
the truck. The truck gets
underway, only to be stopped
again by a band of rebels,
demanding a large portion of
the grain. After the rebels
are paid off, the convoy
finally makes it to the
campsite, where Sarah meets
Nick in person. The locals
call him a name that means,
“He who steals from
death.” Nick is a
hard-working doctor, but
he’s bitter and
foul-mouthed, cynical about
the fact that he gets little
help from various world
organizations, especially
America, and he is not
impressed with Sarah and her
bleeding-heart humanitarian
trip. Nick also feels forced
to deal with a shady American,
Steiger. He feels that he is
forced to compromise and run
some guns for Steiger in order
to get the medicines he needs.
He obviously loves the people,
however, and says, when Sarah
demands that they be given
(non-existent) pain relief,
“I have seen in these people
the weirdest, purest
suffering. They are so brave.
. . . We have no idea what
courage is.” Sarah’s
efforts keep the Africans
alive for several days, and
then she must go. She asks the
doctor why he never uses her
name, and he tells her that
everyone he’s lost has had a
name. If he knows her name, he
might have to remember her and
then lose her. Nick’s
associate is Elliot (Noah
Emmerich), a Buddhist who is
portrayed as a kind,
big-hearted relief worker.
Elliot makes Sarah promise
she’ll not forget them, and
he suggests that she work for
the U.N. Relief
Organization. Sarah does join
the U.N., has some children
with her husband, from whom
she is growing apart, and
lives through the market crash
of 1989 and the falling of the
Berlin wall. After her husband
has an affair and loses his
job, Sarah takes an invitation
from Elliot to join the team
in Cambodia. There, she is
reacquainted with Nick, and
the two fall in love. She gets
angry with Nick, however, when
she finds out that he is
smuggling guns, computers, and
maps to the refugees, and the
Khmer Rouge almost kills both
of them. She screams at him,
“Never compromise another
organization to benefit your
own!” The Khmer Rouge
invades the camp and
terrorizes the people, giving
a grenade to a baby and
killing his mother when she
tries to save him. Eventually,
Elliot falls on the grenade
and dies. Sarah’s final trip
is to Chechnya, where she must
decide whether or not to give
up her family in order to
rescue Nick, who has been
captured by guerrillas. In the
process, she witnesses the
hideous nature of war and
politics in third world
countries, shares an amazing
secret with Nick, and learns
some revealing things about
her own heart and
character. BEYOND BORDERS is a
gripping movie that will
motivate viewers to spend
their resources on alleviating
poverty in critical areas of
the world. Thus, there are
some strong moral elements in
the movie. Regrettably,
however, the characters in
BEYOND BORDERS are not
motivated from a desire to
spread the Gospel of Jesus
Christ (which is never even
slightly mentionaed), or even
the Word of God, the Bible.
Rather, their actions spring
entirely from a humanist
worldview. The movie’s tone,
in fact, is biting and cynical
toward those who live in
comfort and do not see, or
want to see, the realities of
death and disease in war-torn
hot spots of the world. The
movie’s official tagline is,
“Where hope survives,” but
the story shows little
evidence of true hope. There
are so many casualties of the
horrendous conditions of war
and poverty that the movie
probably will leave many
viewers depressed. As
believers, however, we
understand that, although
offering humanitarian aid is
extremely important, it must
be accompanied by the feeding
of the spirit as well, with an
invitation to salvation
through the death and
resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Salvation through Christ, and
the implementation of biblical
principles for living, will
elevate countries to the true
freedom they so desire. The
humanistic tone of relief
efforts without God or Christ
in BEYOND BORDERS is,
therefore, depressing,
ignorant, and ultimately
hollow and hopeless. Other
objectionable elements include
a storyline involving
adulterous affairs, very
strong foul language with more
than 60 obscenities, and heavy
violence. Please address your
comments to: Sherry Lansing,
Chairman Motion Pictures
Group Paramount Pictures A
Paramount Communications
Company 5555 Melrose
Avenue Los Angeles, CA
90038-3197 Phone: (323)
956-5000 Website:
www.paramount.com

Rating: R

Runtime: 127 minutes

Address Comments To:

Content:

(HH, PC, ACap, AP, Pa, FR, BB, Co, AC, LLL, VVV, SS, A, D, M) Humanist worldview portraying beautiful humanitarian efforts apart from God or Jesus Christ, with some politically correct, anti-capitalistic sentiments disparaging businessman with a foundation who doesn’t understand starvation and poverty up close, and some anti-patriotism with disparaging remarks about lack of U.S. funds, interest, and involvement in poverty, with portrayals of reliance on the United Nations, positive portrayals of a Buddhist social worker, strong moral elements implicit in the selfless acts of relief workers and helping the needy and destitute, disparaging comments made about organizations that choose to pull out of Communist countries with, however, a negative depiction of the Communist Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; strong language with about 30 light to mild obscenities, 30 strong obscenities, and three profanities; very strong war violence includes shootings, land mine explosions resulting in people losing life and limb, gun-running, kidnapping, and murder; sex includes implied adultery and one depicted adulterous sex scene (but not graphic or explicit); no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and miscellaneous immorality such as gun smuggling and some moral relativism.

GENRE: Drama

HH

PC

Acap

Pa

FR

BB

Co

AC

LLL

VVV

SS

A

D

M

Summary:

BEYOND BORDERS is an epic tale of the turbulent, adulterous romance between a relief worker/doctor and a married American lady, set against the backdrop of the world's most dangerous hot spots. BEYOND BORDERS will compel audiences to deeply reconsider their own materialism and lack of giving, but the humanistic tone of relief efforts without God or Christ is depressing, ignorant and ultimately hollow.

Review:

BEYOND BORDERS is an epic tale of the turbulent romance between a relief worker/doctor and a married American woman, set against the backdrop of the world's most dangerous hot spots, such as Ethiopia and Chechnya. Angelina Jolie stars as Sarah Jordan, an American living in London in 1984. She is married to Henry Bauford (Linus Roache), son of a wealthy British industrialist, when she encounters Nick Callahan (Clive Owen), a renegade doctor whose impassioned plea for help to support his relief efforts in war-torn Africa moves her deeply. As a result, Sarah embarks upon a journey of discovery that leads to danger, heartbreak and romance in the far corners of the world.

The movie opens with a woman playing the piano in a beautiful home, and a voice-over saying, “There must be more to this life. . . a purpose for each of us. . . .” The story then moves to a fancy fund-raiser/dance for world relief, with Sarah and Henry enjoying themselves thoroughly at Henry’s father’s gala, Aid Relief International. Suddenly, Dr. Nick Callahan barges in with a little African boy, Jojo, and demands that the wealthy party folks listen to the truth about the disease and death outside their comfort zones. Nick is soon overpowered and escorted off to jail.

Soon, Sarah Jordan is telling her British husband that she will be taking her last 40,000 pounds and traveling to Ethiopia to help alleviate the starvation and disease. Her husband agrees to let her go, and she makes the trip alone. A young, black woman, who says that missionaries taught her to speak English, drives her to a plateau, where she sees a horrendous encampment of poverty, disease and death. Sarah insists that the driver stop the truck. She runs out, grabs a small, dying boy, and has some men help her get the boy’s wounded mother into the truck. The truck gets underway, only to be stopped again by a band of rebels, demanding a large portion of the grain.

After the rebels are paid off, the convoy finally makes it to the campsite, where Sarah meets Nick in person. The locals call him a name that means, “He who steals from death.” Nick is a hard-working doctor, but he’s bitter and foul-mouthed, cynical about the fact that he gets little help from various world organizations, especially America, and he is not impressed with Sarah and her bleeding-heart humanitarian trip. Nick also feels forced to deal with a shady American, Steiger. He feels that he is forced to compromise and run some guns for Steiger in order to get the medicines he needs. He obviously loves the people, however, and says, when Sarah demands that they be given (non-existent) pain relief, “I have seen in these people the weirdest, purest suffering. They are so brave. . . . We have no idea what courage is.”

Sarah’s efforts keep the Africans alive for several days, and then she must go. She asks the doctor why he never uses her name, and he tells her that everyone he’s lost has had a name. If he knows her name, he might have to remember her and then lose her. Nick’s associate is Elliot (Noah Emmerich), a Buddhist who is portrayed as a kind, big-hearted relief worker. Elliot makes Sarah promise she’ll not forget them, and he suggests that she work for the U.N. Relief Organization.

Sarah does join the U.N., has some children with her husband, from whom she is growing apart, and lives through the market crash of 1989 and the falling of the Berlin wall. After her husband has an affair and loses his job, Sarah takes an invitation from Elliot to join the team in Cambodia. There, she is reacquainted with Nick, and the two fall in love. She gets angry with Nick, however, when she finds out that he is smuggling guns, computers, and maps to the refugees, and the Khmer Rouge almost kills both of them. She screams at him, “Never compromise another organization to benefit your own!” The Khmer Rouge invades the camp and terrorizes the people, giving a grenade to a baby and killing his mother when she tries to save him. Eventually, Elliot falls on the grenade and dies.

Sarah’s final trip is to Chechnya, where she must decide whether or not to give up her family in order to rescue Nick, who has been captured by guerrillas. In the process, she witnesses the hideous nature of war and politics in third world countries, shares an amazing secret with Nick, and learns some revealing things about her own heart and character.

BEYOND BORDERS is a gripping movie that will motivate viewers to spend their resources on alleviating poverty in critical areas of the world. Thus, there are some strong moral elements in the movie. Regrettably, however, the characters in BEYOND BORDERS are not motivated from a desire to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ (which is never even slightly mentionaed), or even the Word of God, the Bible. Rather, their actions spring entirely from a humanist worldview. The movie’s tone, in fact, is biting and cynical toward those who live in comfort and do not see, or want to see, the realities of death and disease in war-torn hot spots of the world. The movie’s official tagline is, “Where hope survives,” but the story shows little evidence of true hope. There are so many casualties of the horrendous conditions of war and poverty that the movie probably will leave many viewers depressed.

As believers, however, we understand that, although offering humanitarian aid is extremely important, it must be accompanied by the feeding of the spirit as well, with an invitation to salvation through the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus. Salvation through Christ, and the implementation of biblical principles for living, will elevate countries to the true freedom they so desire.

The humanistic tone of relief efforts without God or Christ in BEYOND BORDERS is, therefore, depressing, ignorant, and ultimately hollow and hopeless. Other objectionable elements include a storyline involving adulterous affairs, very strong foul language with more than 60 obscenities, and heavy violence.

Please address your comments to:

Sherry Lansing, Chairman

Motion Pictures Group

Paramount Pictures

A Paramount Communications Company

5555 Melrose Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90038-3197

Phone: (323) 956-5000

Website: www.paramount.com

SUMMARY: BEYOND BORDERS is an epic tale of the turbulent, adulterous romance between a relief worker/doctor and a married American lady, set against the backdrop of the world's most dangerous hot spots. BEYOND BORDERS will compel audiences to deeply reconsider their own materialism and lack of giving, but the humanistic tone of relief efforts without God or Christ is depressing, ignorant and ultimately hollow.

In Brief: