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The Aviator
Publication Date:
2/1/2006
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study, Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0013

The story of Howard Hughes could be seen as an American tragedy or as the heroic tale of the lone entrepreneur/warrior fighting against great odds. From what we see of him in Martin Scorsese's epic film The Aviator, he is both.

Three film clips are shown during the class, with discussion questions found in the Participant Handout and Leader's Guide. Participants will notice that all of the Scriptures used are from the book of Ecclesiastes. Many people regard Ecclesiastes, with its author's skeptical view of accepted values and religiosity, as the most modern of the Old Testament writings. The insights of its author, called the Teacher, will help viewers understand Howard Hughes and the American values that he embodied.

We admire a go-getter who insists on doing everything "my way" (to cite a song embraced by our culture), but there is also a cost to the soul to be paid. Just how high this cost can be we see in the story of this great American genius. He is a man who had everything, according to the American dream. Yet, he wound up in a sealed-off room, naked, storing his urine in bottles, indicating that he had nothing. Surely in his case the Teacher's observation is correct, "Vanity of vanities . . . All is vanity" (Eccl. 1:2).

Edward N. McNulty is the author of Praying the Movies and Praying the Movies II, both available from WJK. He is founder and editor of Visual Parables, a monthly review newsletter, and was coeditor of Real to Real, a film quarterly for youth.


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