Look Both Ways
My partner and I were able to see an excellent Australian film the other day. The movie was Look Both Ways, with William McInness and Justine Clarke.
It really struck a chord for a whole range of reasons, one of which is because it delved in an intelligent, sensitive way into our humanity, into some of the big things of being human. One of these was the over arching theme of living and dying. It’s also got some nice humour, an excellent screenplay and good acting and casting.
The experience knocked us for six. We agreed afterwards that it was probably the best film we’d ever seen. Look Both Ways got me thinking about SoFiA, and what it is about.
At one point in the film, one of the characters asks another “Do you believe in God?” From memory, after dismissing the question as a joke, the respondent at length goes into a tirade about why on earth would you believe in something ’out there’, when there is no point to that.
The movie is an exclusively secular exploration of the big issues of being human, and it was a wonderfully rich and powerful exploration. I’m thinking that the movie was able to be so rich because it did not seek to reference religion in any way.
Religion, for mine, can be unhelpful and distracting, amongst other reasons because of its ’faith’, its intransigence, its double talk and other baggage.
In my experience, SOFiA places itself primarily in reference to religion. I’d be happy for it to continue to access and reference religions and responses to religions, but – and here is my main point – I’d be even happier if it did not define itself primarily in relation to them.
As Look Both Ways demonstrates, there are so many sources for thinking about what it is to be human, and it is refreshing to have a discussion where religion, or responses to religion, are not used as the dominant, or even major, sources.