'The Kingdom' is a powerful film. Despite being an action movie, presented some deep underlying thoughts. Being a woman and observing how women are regarded in the middle east made me feel as if I was suffocating. The idea of my poor sisters walking around in burkas.... well, that's just not right! Why can't they wear colors or patterns? Is that too much of a turn on? Why must they look as if they are in mourning all the time?? I love black- goes with everything, but try wearing it in 100+ degrees with your face & every inch of skin covered. Guess the only advantage is they must not get skin cancer much. lol
Anyway, after an American citizen loses his wife in an attack, the husband tearfully asks a Muslim, "Does Allah love your children more than mine? Does he love your wife more than he did mine?" This is the same question I would be tempted to ask of any Muslim intent on killing someone just because they are not Muslim. I greatly admire the open-hearted Ghandi and his idea of peaceful resistence, but against a bully so hateful as an extremist, your chances are probably be best if I have a magnum strapped to my leg and USE it!
Although, he isn't mentioned in the film, journalist, Danny Pearl was an honorable, gifted and peace-loving man. He was in the Middle East to present a fair and balanced picture of the events that were happening. His life was taken in front of a camera by evil, animalistic rage. One cannot imagine the fear and extreme disappointment that coursed through his veins as terrorist supporters made an example of him. His heart was likely broken knowing he would not live to see his son be born and his wife would be left a single mother. There was no mercy shown to this kind man. There IS NO HONOR is such a killing!!
The film points out that for all our big talk about righteousness and morals, Christian nations and those of Islam are equally as guilty of hatred. Yes, sadly it's true and cannot be denied. Much good has been done in the name of Christ, but more atrocities have been performed and more lives taken by "Christian Crusades" and occupation by "Christian" nations than by Muslim terrorists.
I am NOT excusing terrorist behavior in any way. It's insane and inexcusable. I do not believe Allah is pleased with such murderous tactics.
Hurting people, hurt people.
No sooner do we discover we have a heart in this life, than it gets broken repeatedly. Pain creates anger, which breeds indignation & hostility. Although scarred, I still have a desire to appreciate and honor people. Every culture has something beautiful about it, some wisdom to share... if we are willing to look beyond the surface and breech the walls of prejudice.
Honestly, at times, our nation HAS been arrogant. Pointing fingers at other countries, calling them evil tyrants, but it wasn't very long ago, sons of the pilgrims who landed on these shores in search of religious freedom, were stealing land, murdering native women and children. Historical documents demonstrate that God-fearing whites of that day viewed Native Americans as "Heathen savages" and "less than dogs". A society that sat in straight-backed pews each Sunday, keeping it's women pale and corseted could not understand a culture of freedom and free spirituality.
Native silence at the forefront of any meeting, which was meant to honor the white man's presence, was interpreted as "ignorance". And violence against natives was justified in the name of "spreading the Gospel". (A message was definitely spread.) To this day, it's hard to find a genuine Native convert to Christianity. Why? Because Christians decimated Native culture with little apology or rectification. And don't get me started on slavery and the loooong struggle for civil rights....
Christians, Jews and Muslims are brothers and sons of the same Creator God. To see the three fight so intensely... well, it's heart-breaking. Strong religious culture gives people a sense of "rightness"- an arrogance that causes them to excuse away bad behavior if they are doing it "for the cause". Whenever we become blind to the humanity and uniqueness of others, genocide is a very real possibility.
Christianity is a beautiful concept that shares many common truths with Islam. Love one another, your neighbor as yourself, extend hospitality, forgive others and give sacrificially to those in need. Maybe someday, we'll get it right??
The action sequences in the film were intense. My only disappointment is that Jen Garner didn't get more speaking parts. If you see it or have already, I'm interested in what you think.