Saturday, February 24, 2007

Joyeux Noel (2005)

I saw this film a few weeks ago at a retreat and was moved to tears. It dramatizes actual events from Christmas Eve 1914 on the front lines of war to end all wars. German, French and Scottish soldiers laid down their arms and declared a temporary cease fire to celebrate Christmas. A mass was led by a Scottish priest serving as a medic.

It is inspiring and tragic, much like war and life. It is wonderfully made and the casting is perhaps perfect. There are Christians to revile and emulate in this film. It is provocative but not hamfisted.

It is perhaps intended to be a blanket anti-war statement. This is due to the never stated reasons for WWI. Set the events in WWII and the moral ambiguity begins to lift (cf. Spielberg). Perhaps it is intended as a criticism of The Great War only

I hope to own this film and watch it every Christmas (along with A Christmas Story, A Christmas Carol, The Polar Express, The Grinch, The Snowman and the first Andy Griffith Christmas episode) because it truly captures the spirit of Christmas with its portrayal of Christ-like sacrifice.

Merry Christmas Uncle, God save you!

My Rating: Own it

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