Moments of Mental Confusion and Contradiction
Release Date: February 15, 2008
Genre: Documentary/Concert Movie
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 85 minutes
Distributor: National Geographic Cinema Ventures
Director: Catherine Owens and Mark Pellington
Address Comments To:Lisa Truitt, President
National Geographic Cinema Ventures
National Geographic Society
1145 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036-4688
Phone: (202) 857-7027; Fax: (202) 828-6679
Shot at seven different shows in South America, the movie features all of U2’s best songs, with the usual excellent vocals from Bono, the band’s most famous member. The 3D process enhances the concert experience in this documentary, which features U2’s catchy music and often-vague lyrics.
What was not vague, however, was an interlude where Bono grabbed one of the crowd’s “Co-Exist” banners favored by the band. The banner features the Muslim crescent, the Star of David and a Christian cross forming parts of the word Co-Exist. Waving the banner, Bono sings that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all the same, and that there is no difference between Jew, Jesus and Mohammed.
During this scene, Bono also takes a Co-Exist headband, puts it over his eyes, stumbles around and implies that people are blinded by their differences. It seemed quite silly, actually.
U2’s repertoire includes love songs, political songs and songs with spiritual references, often mixed together. One of the songs, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” has positive references to Jesus, God and Christianity. For example, Bono sings about angels and God, then says, “You broke the bond and loosened the chains, carried the Cross for all my shame. And, you know I believe it. But, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.” The last two lines, of course, contradict one another. This is confusing, not enlightening.
This theological and existential confusion, coupled with the syncretistic multiculturalism in the scene with the Co-Exist signs, are annoying, excessive and naïve. They violate the clear teachings of the Bible and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God’s Truth and Righteousness are really not that murky, unlike too many of the spiritual references in many U2 songs. Of course, if U2 clarified some of the murkiness in their religious references, they might not be as popular among those secular music critics who respond to U2’s left-wing, pacifist political angst. The band’s superficial social messages reflect the revolutionary ideology of the peaceniks in the 1960s, a neo-fascist street movement that led to the evil tragedies and excesses created by leftist terrorists like Bill Ayers and his wife, and the mindless, drugged-out hippie followers of Charles Manson.
U2 3D is brilliantly shot and thrilling in 3D, with catchy music, but there are moments that will annoy moviegoers with discriminating minds. Particularly annoying was an interlude where Bono grabs one of the “Co-Exist” banners favored by the band. The banner features the Muslim crescent, the Star of David and a Christian cross to make the word Co-Exist. Waving the banner, Bono sings that Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all the same, that there is no difference between them. This scene becomes quite silly. It reflects the shallow quality of the band’s socio-political messages.