After watching, they mentioned that they are more grateful for the lives that they have, recognizing that there are people in the world that have it a lot worse than they. They did respond with a sense of responsibility, but it’s hard when you’re 18 and under to know how. A couple were mad and angry at the injustice in the world. One re-thought his theology about “salvation” (asking if those people who are doing great things for the world haven’t accepted Jesus, are they going to hell. Honest question. I told him, in summary, “read your Bible, and find out what ‘salvation’ and ‘good news’ is according to the Scriptures. You may be ‘surprised by’ the ‘hope’ you find in the text.)
Lastly, one student, 14 years old, is preparing to make t-shirts, and begin his own mini-campaign for the cause. I am so proud of him (and all my students) and believe that as they learn and grow in these issues, more will be done to keep justice and compassion thriving in the world. And as I have posted elsewhere, it always, always begins with the young.
This film accomplishes awareness and action on multiple levels. It educates the viewer on the philosophies of music/art and social justice (Cornel West was great), it brings together multiple people and disciplines (from music, acting, journalism, and politics), and it communicates the realities of the problem without over sensationalizing the issues. That last point is so critical, for as Gary Haugen pointed out, we live between oblivion and paralysis. A movie like this helps us see a third way to respond.
At the end of the movie, they tell you to text “call” to 90999, to do something about it immediately. The texts I’ve received in return so far have exhorted me to give a little donation to the cause (all the proceeds of this movie, by the way, go to the cause–there are no profits–and the movie itself was funded by donations), visit the website, and invite more friends to see the movie.
The driving element in the movie is that ultimately, it is you and I that can make a huge difference in this kind of human trafficking. The clothes we buy, the food we eat, the demands and expectations we have upon our comfortable standards of living, and the entitlements of our own lifestyle all add up in small ways towards huge suffering and oppression. If we were to all begin living more wisely towards the tangible things of this world, then we could see more of the world’s population free.
While I concur that we all play a part, I often wonder about other factors that must also be taken into account: sociopathic psychosis, religious/political cultural environments, pure evil or demonic possession, corruption (which is a form of greed), population growth, poverty, and others. I mention this because we must be as well educated as possible, so that our solutions are as effective as possible. But I also mention this, not to say that the efforts at the retail store are in vain, but to say again, that we all need to be proactively ensuring that our very existence continually exemplifies the value for human life and dignity.
Bottom line, go see the movie; hear the call, and join the response. Well done, good and faithful servant, Justin Dillon.