If you ever made fun of people who thought that French Existentialism made them feel hopeless – and you know as a twenty-something I was the kind of girl who stuck up her nose at the folks who didn’t get the brilliance of that movement– get ready to make fun of me right now.
When I saw the trailer for OF GODS AND MEN I had that response I have to all great trailers: “Wow! I’ve got to see this one!” When this much lauded, award-winning film showed up this week in our local movie theater, I was thrilled to buy a ticket and take a seat. And then… “it” happened.
I recognized “it” from some of my experiences with art – and certainly some of my experiences with the law. How many times have I said to an attorney, “Okay – really, really, really sad. Now, where’s the hope? I mean – a jury isn’t going to give your client any money if there’s no hope.” I find this equally true in business cases, personal injury cases, patent cases – you name it, you gotta make 12 people feel like what they are doing makes a real difference.
Yes, OF GODS AND MEN is one of the most depressing and hopeless films I’ve ever seen. I was reminded of other French experiences I’ve had with art… that circus at the Bastille in which the entire audience sat in rapt attention not breathing and communing with the performers. A production of TARTUFFE at the Comedie-Francaise where that actor almost punched out that kid in the audience who was laughing. Don’t misunderstand me, I’ve had some off the charts amazing experiences with French art as well – but OF GODS AND MEN brought back the ones that made me think, “the French are not like you and me.”
TIP: Make sure your case gives us hope for the future or we won’t vote for you.