Son Of Man

Significance of children

One of the most interesting films we watched to date in class Son of Man, we are introduced to an African interpretation of the bible. The media has always portrayed the messiah as a white male. The film starts with the devil tempting Jesus and shifts directly to war and turmoil. The next scene the camera shifts onto Mary in the classroom. She is in complete shock and fear, looking at war going on outside and the children all piled in the classroom in fear. An angel in the form of a child appears and instructs her that she will bare a son that will be destined to be the chosen man. The children act as a symbol for hope and the future. I thought it was very beautiful how the angel was watching Jesus and Mary in refuge taking in daily activities. The angel plays with baby Jesus and even warns him and Mary about trouble coming. When the soldiers come to town to demand the children to register with the militia they show a graphic scene of a child being blanketed and killed. This scene shows Jesus, Mary and the Angel seeing the brutal violence, shows how much importance is put in the children. During Marshall law the children are put down and people are frantic and we just see Jesus sit down and nurse one of the children on his shoulder. I thought this was very powerful that he was the calmest one during the enforcement of the village. The children are a recurring theme throughout the entire film. I thought there was a huge emphasis in how they are the future and the actions of the adults will affect the future generations. The ending shows the resurrection of Jesus and an army of child angels following him to the hilltop. I thought it ended with the constant theme of children in major events of the film indicating their importance in the present and future.

I thought I’d leave you guys with some goodies here. This is the young actress that portrays Mary in the film singing this beautiful song in the beginning.

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2 Responses to “Son Of Man”

  1.   David Richter Says:

    I thought this was a fascinating version of the Jesus film because it was simultaneously filled with spiritual feeling and totally secular. Jesus stands for freedom and equality and genuine democracy, as opposed to the phony versions that are all about strongmen at the top supported by local thugs. The “slaughter of the innocents” was reminiscent of the Rwanda massacres.

    It was also interesting to me that the “crucifixion” in this film was not the death of Jesus but the revelation of his death. (He had been “disappeared” then beaten, shot, and buried by local thugs.)

    The film was made in Khayelitsha, a “township” on the southwestern coast of South Africa by a theatrical group called Dimpho Di Kopane. The director, Mark Dornford-May, is a Brit by birth who studied theatre and directed plays in London. (I saw a production of The Duchess of Malfi that he directed.) He is married to Pauline Malefane, who co-wrote the script and played Mary. This film premiered in the USA at the Sundance Festival but has never had a commercial release here, though it did have one in the UK.

  2.   Katherine Tirado Says:

    The significance of children is emphasized so much in the film that I do agree that it places importance on children being the fate of society’s future. The simplicity of a few feathers attached to the angel-children’s skin made them appear more innocent and allowed for them to be all the more captivating, as they don’t appear as a typical angel with flourishing wings.

    I feel it is important to note that after Jesus was brutally killed, he is held by his mother Mary in the pieta pose, as they are being transported to the site where he is being revealed. I don’t think such a pose has been emphasized in the films we have seen prior to this one. It is seen in art, but for this to be in the film (01:12:00) allows for “the revelation of his death” as opposed to the death of Jesus.

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