The Corridor: Joyeux Noel

The Corridor

We are a church community committed to having an incarnational presence in the Washington/Baltimore Corridor.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Joyeux Noel

We had a movie night last evening where we had friends over and watched “Joyeux Noel”, the 2005 foreign film which depicts the true story of the World War I Christmas truce of December 1914. Seen through the through the eyes of French, Scottish and German soldiers, who after experiencing much bloodshed entrenched in war with each other, declare a ceasefire for Christmas.

The truce became a life changing event in their lives where they learned about the brotherhood of man and common humanity that would trump their own sense of nationalism. Not only did this event really take place but the men who took part in it were punished for it, and most of them died soon enough afterward. But on one Christmas, they were able to experience what it means to live out “peace on earth” and “good will toward man.”

I particularly enjoyed the character of Palmer, a Scottish Anglican Priest, who took a leading roll in this movement of peace. In contrast to Palmer, his Bishop would in the end chastise Palmer, and the Christmas service he held for soldiers on both sides of the war, for “going astray”. It is the Bishop that you see and hear in the trailer that speaks of a “Holy War” and a “Crusade”. Father Palmer, who also serves a stretcher barer in the trenches, comes to question his Bishop’s nationalistic view of Christ in favor of one he feels is more true to Christ’s teachings.

The character of the German singer turned soldier Nikolaus Sprink also leads the way in a movement for peace. He takes a risk and sings along with Christmas carols as they are played on the bagpipes by Palmer and the other Scotts in their nearby trenches. Sprink takes the concert into “no man’s land” with an offering of a lit Christmas tree that would begin the talks for peace.

There are many other rich characters in this film, including the commanding officers in the trenches of the Germen, French, and Scottish soldiers. This is a must see film and after netflixing it I plan on buying it to watch again next Christmas season.


Blogger Pastor Steven said...

Looks like a great film I'll have to check it out.



11:03 AM  

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