707 Great Summer Viewing with World Cup Soccer

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World Cup Soccer is spilling over into celebrations of cultural diversity.

http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2013/03/wpid-dc_healing_ceremony_in_South_Africa_Wednesday.jpgHealing ceremony in in Soweto, South Africa, June 16, 2010, as the country commemorates the 1976 Soweto uprising. It came on the same day as South Africa played Uruguay in the World Cup in Pretoria. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)Some are solemn. A healing ceremony in remembrance of the 1976 Soweto uprising in South Africa had an international “electricity” rarely experienced during this annual memorial to courage and tragedy during the anti-Apartheid movement. Read Associated Press coverage of that event.
Meanwhile, retired Bishop Peter Storey, famous for his work against Apartheid in South Africa, writes in the Washington Post that the World Cup brings a welcome spotlight to South Africa’s ongoing quest to protect human rights.

Some are creative celebrations. Today, we’ll highlight a celebration of global cinema. Since the founding of ReadTheSpirit three years ago, we’ve occasionally recommended cinematic gems that most Americans would never find without a little help from us. Monday, we recommended “Burma VJ,” a moving documetnary about the peaceful protests in which thousands of Burmese risked their lives in pursuit of human rights.

Check Out Facets World Cup of Cinema

Facets, a nonprofit film group in Chicago, devotes a great deal of energy each year to promoting films from around the world rarely shown in American theaters. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa—the most-viewed sporting event in the world—Facets is staging its own “match ups” of films from nations competing for the FIFA cup. Just for fun, Facets is encouraging fans to vote in its “Facets World Cup of Cinema”. Of course, the idea of movies squaring off against each other like soccer players is … well, it’s what actually happens in the cut-throat media industry. Many of these films require viewers to read subtitles, or to think about themes far removed from the typical comedies and superhero adventures filling our movie theaters. So, you’ve probably never heard of many films on Facet’s list.

We’re not saying that the Facets list is entirely made up of great spiritual viewing. But you can spot a few movies here that will catch your eye—and spark fresh reflection. Here’s a tip: The 2006 Algerian film “Days of Glory” is well worth a look. Set in World War II, this gripping drama examines the meaning of cultural diversity and ethnic identity—set in a “Saving Private Ryan” kind of wartime saga. Although most Americans aren’t aware of it, many North Africans under French rule fought bravely in the war, even though the French considered them second-class citizens, at best. You can order this Algerian co-production, “Days of Glory (Indigenes),” from Amazon.

Please, Tell Us What You’re Seeing That Connects World Cup with Spiritual Values!

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(Originally published at http://www.ReadTheSpirit.com/)

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