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Babel
Publication Date:
4/17/2007
Pages:
0
Session(s)
1
Product Type:
Internet Download
Adult Study, Adult Study
Product Number:
TC0160

One of the most striking consequences of the increase in global communication and awareness has been growing fear and isolationism in the United States. Strongly affected by fears instilled by the attacks on September 11, 2001, the American government and many of its citizens have become wary of foreigners and their influences on American culture. An appropriate example of this is the U.S. government's recent approval of the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Strangely enough, this new high-tech wall is intended to keep out of the United States the people who make the consumer products that we so readily purchase. Fear is becoming more and more intrinsic in the very nature of many people, and this fear will inevitably lead to suspicion, mistrust, and enmity.

One of the propagators of this fear in American society is the media. When one watches the local, national, or world news, the events of hatred, death, and bloodiness always trump stories of understanding, friendship, self-sacrifice, and love. The statement "If it bleeds, it leads" has never been truer.

It is this complex, interconnected, and fearful world that the film Babel explores. In the film, three stories set in three different locations intersect in unforeseen ways. A husband and wife are on vacation in Morocco, and their children are being watched by a nanny in Southern California. The relationship of a father and daughter in Japan is also explored. As the plot unfolds and the interconnections of these characters are revealed, the audience is left with a renewed appreciation of how the decisions of one person can potentially affect the lives of people halfway around the world. We will explore in depth the themes of global interconnectedness, suspicious fear, and the complexity of relationships in this new world. In order examine how Babel presents these themes, we will discuss some of the pertinent clips in the film. While we have selected certain scenes for their appropriateness, you should discuss the film as a whole as well.

Gordon Pace is a seminary student at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He is originally from Tupelo, Mississippi.


Martha Miller is a certified Christian educator and a Presbyterian elder. She currently serves as the Associate for Certification and Christian Vocation for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).


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