Wednesday, September 14

Derrickson, "I will never do that again”, Emily Rose

Solid review over at Plugged-In. Check it out. This is a great resource for parents or individuals interested in discerning and being carefull about what they watch at the theater. If you don't care about what movies you watch, thats fine--skip on Plugged-In. Don't come back and give me grief about how they do their reviews.
The Exorcism of Emily Rose is based on the real-life story of Anneliese Michel, a German college student and devout Catholic who died during an exorcism in 1976. Doctors said her seizures and visions were caused by epilepsy. Her family and their bishop believed it was demon possession. German officials responded by prosecuting the parents and priest for criminal negligence. (They were found guilty but given suspended sentences.)

Co-writer (with Paul Harris Boardman) and director Scott Derrickson, a graduate of Biola University, said his purpose in making Emily Rose was “not to persuade” and “not to provide any metaphysical answer” to the question of whether demonic possession is real. His purpose, in the words of religion columnist Terry Mattingly, was to “make believers think twice about what they believe and doubters have doubts about their doubts.”

Derrickson added, “The research phase was horrible. I am glad that I know so much about it. ... I also feel that for me, as a Christian, it is good to have that knowledge. But I will never do that again.” That sentiment should guide potential viewers of this film. This is not a movie one sees merely to be entertained. It’s pretty grim in places and quite dark. But it is not exploitative. It also tells a story of faith and compassion. Father Moore is quiet and utterly selfless. He is a man of resolute faith. And despite what is happening to her, Emily seemingly never loses her faith in God. (The story doesn't deal with the issue of whether Christians can be demon possessed.) The exposition during the courtroom scenes also provides excellent fodder for discussion revolving around the relationship between faith and science—and between faith and doubt. (No, the two are not necessarily in conflict in either case.)

It strikes me, then, that such demonstrations of selflessness and faith are rare for any type of movie. But they are truly unique considering Emily Rose's genre.
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