As soon as we were given the option to pick a U- or PG-rated film for our all-ages film night, it was a clear and easy decision – The Prince of Egypt (was there really an option?!). There had been a debate – should we sing along, can we hum, and what about interruptions? None of this mattered in the end!
The film, if you haven’t seen it, is an incredible, beautifully animated re-telling of Exodus, where Moses leads the Israelites from Egypt. We joked at the beginning about how this film is a religious as we’ve ever got; it’s a particular childhood favourite of mine, and includes the more distressing aspects of Exodus with some incredible mid-90s animation. Tori and I reflected that this story is not particularly PG-friendly, as though there is no blood, some aspects of the story are harrowing, including the deaths of the first borns, mass slaughter, and plagues… The children who attended did not appear to be as distressed as us, however!
I think the film is a brilliant way to introduce children (and adults) to parts of the Old Testament without it being too dry or challenging – we can always engage with music and colour, and the film does both well. The story of Exodus is well known, and though the film deviates somewhat from the Biblical text, it’s still a thought provoking and accessible film. The soundtrack is full of soaring lullabies, strong group choruses, and some wonderful Hebrew singing, “Ashira l’Adonai ki gaoh gaah”, translated as ‘I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously’.
Our bring and share dinner was delicious as always, which included some nice additions from our more adventurous guests, homemade pizza with peach, a vegan bean chilli, and rhubarb and crème fraîche. Though I love cooking with the rest of NYQ, I always really enjoy bring and share meals with the rest of the Quaker community, as I feel it allows us to share both food and time with each other so that we know each other more individually.
After a lovely start to our evening watching The Prince of Egypt and sharing a wonderful bring and share supper with some fellow Friends, we settled down to enjoy our second film of the evening (Warm Bodies), a romance orientated comedy thriller, a genre which admittedly I had never previously thought existed. As the opening credits rolled, silence descended, not only due to the impending beginning of the film, but due to the prior distribution of ice lollies to everyone in the room which they were now keenly tucking into.
What followed proved to be an entertaining and surprisingly thought provoking movie, with undeniable parallels to the old Shakespearian classic of Romeo and Juliet (not least of all the naming of the main characters being ‘Julie’ and ‘R’). The film explored issues of identity, acceptance, discrimination and segregation, through the physical and emotional struggles between the dehumanised ‘zombie’ race and the human characters in the film. It ended on a light hearted note however with the two sides uniting against a common foe with love and unity prevailing. All in all we had a very enjoyable and somewhat thought provoking evening in each other’s company.