This fairy-tale kind of a movie, set loosely somewhere in 20th century Eastern Europe, has a very dark side to it. It’s a moving and mystical tale about a group of people trying to escape a common enemy: war.
Amidst screams of pain and fear piercing the air, a soldier falls, decapitated by flying shrapnel. Spattered by the blood, 16-year-old Tom, a new recruit, stands transfixed. He flees to the woods where he falls, shivering and speechless from shock.
A young girl, Jessie, finds Tom and brings him to a motley group of Gypsies who are traveling from town to town in order to keep ahead of the advancing war. Still in a dazed state, Tom allows a young child playing with make-up to daub his face with paint and put him in a dress. She leads him to another horror: her parents who have been shot and her brother, a soldier, who has been hanged. Phrases such as “perish all traitors” and “death to all deserters” cover the farmhouse.
Tom wanders the countryside, living like a wild animal and looking like a half-crazed girl, but always staying close to the Gypsy convoy and Jesse. They are deeply suspicious of Tom and deem him a “rawney” — someone who is “magic mad” and will bring them bad luck. He is gradually accepted, though, and when Jessie discovers that Tom is not a girl, she falls in love and becomes pregnant by him.
To protect Tom, she tells her father that a mongol boy raped her. Since her father fears the baby will be cursed, Jesse is forced to have an abortion. In a sickening scene, Tom and Jesse bury the fetus, clearly recognizable as human.
Tom is eventually shocked out of his trauma by further obscenities of war. He discards his dress, runs off with Jessie, then rejoins the Gypsies as they brace themselves against a huge advancing hostile army in what may be the final confrontation.
The film is about what war does to people, as if one really needed to know this. The message seems to say that while war leaves horrors behind, the enemy — war itself — remains an ever-present, but unseen menace. Christians, however, should really be more concerned with another type of ever-present, unseen menace — that of spiritual war. For “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). However, for us, the good news is found in 2 Corinthians 10:3: “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have power to demolish strongholds.”
What are these “weapons?” They are the Name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus and, the Word of God. The place where we wage our warfare is anywhere where Satan has established his outpost. The rockets with which we launch our weapons there are prayer, preaching, our testimony, praise, and worship. Knowing this, you will be able to wage war effectively, which is a much better investment of your time than seeing THE RAGGEDY RAWNEY, a nauseating film that demonstrates an obvious point.
Profanities and obscenities; female nudity, promiscuity, implied adultery and abortion; graphic war scenes including decapitation, hanging, stabbing, and cremation; drunkenness and lying; and, superstitious beliefs.