What to See

In Dear Francis students from Dallas Baptist University, Swaziland, and South Africa travel to Swaziland high schools to discuss sexual abstinence as part of HIV/AIDS prevention. They are soon confronted by the challenges of polygamy (legal in Swaziland), rape, incest, and desperate poverty in a country with one of the highest HIV-infection rates in the world. The students move from naiveté to despair and then to hope in this engrossing hour-long film. Chronicle Project.

The South African film Son of Man retells the story of Jesus by portraying him as an African revolutionary. This ambitious collaboration between director Mark Dornford-May and theater company Dimpho Di Kopane (Sotho for “combined talents”) presents numerous provocative scenes in which canonical gospel stories are resituated in a world of militias, dissidents, and disappearances. In isiXhosa, English, and Setswana with English subtitles. Film and Music Entertainment Ltd.

In Color of the Cross, Haitian director Jean Claude LaMarre portrays Jesus as a black Nazarene whose radical interpretation of the Torah leads to his persecution. Unlike Son of Man, this is not a birth-to-resurrection Jesus film but a tightly focused look at the last two days of Jesus’ life, one that places issues of race and prejudice front and center. Debbi Morgan and Ananda Lewis star. Nu-Lite Entertainment. J.L. Aronson’s documentary

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Sojourners Magazine November 2006
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