Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review of "Redemption" - a movie about the story of John Baptiste

Me and "John Baptiste" after watching the film
Last night I took Cathi, Jacob and Jonas along with my good friend Josh, and his wife Sabrina out on a group date.  We went to the LDS Film Festival where we saw Redemption.  

I took it upon myself to study the different accounts online of the story before hand.  The movie not only met my hopes and expectations, but surpassed them!  I was also a little worried that the film might stretch the story out too long to make a full feature film, but there were no parts in the movie where I looked at my watch wondering how much longer.  The actors were ALL very good and portrayed the characters in a very convincing way.

The panoramic views and angles of many of the shots were very well chosen and really did a great job portraying the beauty and lonely expanse of Antelope Island.  There were many scenes that made the story come alive for me.  I would have to say that this is one of the best films I've seen in the past year.

White Rock Bay
I was surprised that there was no mention of Brigham Young's role in this story.   After spending three months in jail, Brigham Young piped up:

"What I would do with him came to me quickly, after I heard of the circumstances... If it were left to me, I would make him a fugitive and a vagabond upon the earth.  This would be my sentence." - Brigham Young's Office Journal, January 27, 1862,  LDS Church Archives, 341-42.
 Really Brother Brigham?  Even though he couldn't legally be the one to pass judgement, certainly his recommendation made it to the ears of the executors of the law.

Ever been thirsty or hungry?  Try living on a desert island
surrounded by super salty water.  
That doesn't sound like justice, but rather vengeance. What would the dead say?  Especially when they're facing their own judges with the following doctrine ringing in their ears:

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” 

The character, John Baptiste, in the movie made a statement that I agree with completely.  When our loved ones die and are placed in the ground, "The soul is not in the ground".  When Jesus was in the tomb his body was not there, what happened to his body at that time did not have any influence on the fact that he was busy doing His Father's work.

Brigham Young could have taken this situation and shown great leadership and at the same time taught a great lesson about the basic doctrine about the separation of the spirit and body after death, as well as reminded the "saints" about forgiveness.  One of the biggest messages I got from the film is that those we might deem as being wicked and bad, might not be as much as we can expect or wish.  Nor are the "Saints" as righteous and good as we can expect or wish.  Good and evil is NOT black and white.  Before we pass judgement, perhaps we should defer to the only one who can properly do so.  

I would highly recommend this movie to help get your own thoughts churning in your own head.  It'll change you.


Josh said...

It was a fun night and I liked the film a lot. I have read some brief accounts of this story, but nothing in this much detail.

Although what he did was obviously wrong, his punishment seemed pretty harsh.

Is sheriff Hatch a real person? His character was new to me. It was inspiring to see how he forgave Baptiste, even though he was wronged by him.

On another note, I though it would be fun to do an "Escape from Fremont Island" swim. Does anyone know where he left the island from or where he was headed? You've heard of the Triple Crown of Prison Island Swims? This would be a cool swim to add, making it the Quadruple Crown of Prison Island Swims.

Gords said...

Yeah nobody knows where he went, but if it were me, I'd go north to Promontory mountains. Only a 2 mile swim. Only problem w/ adding that as a swim event is the owners of Fremont today want it to be undisturbed. Lucky to get permission for one not to mention a whole group of people.

Technically you could count the Antelope Island to Black rock a possible escape route he could have done.