A little while ago, I received a call from Natalie
Jost. At the time, Natalie was a university student in
Indiana and asked for the interview as part of a music
class assignment. Since that time she has graduated and
is now working as a freelance web designer. You can
contact Natalie at her website,
Anyway, it was one of the more thoughtful and enjoyable
interviews I have done. So with her permission, we have
included it here.
We returned home from Lithuania last night; a fabulous journey culminating in a day trip into the heart of Paris before flying back to the U.S. As we prepared for our flight, there was one moment of intrigue which turned out to be quite humorous after the fact. My traveling companion and fellow musician Tim Crabb had brought along some vitamins and digestive enzymes as a matter of routine. In order to save space, he removed them from their containers and placed them in a plastic bag. When the Lithuanian officials at the airport discovered them as a matter of routine inspection, they pulled him off the line, and interrogated him for nearly 40 minutes before finally, even though they were unconvinced of what he possessed, allowed him to continue with us. So kids, remember, when traveling abroad keep those vitamins in their original containers!
I have many images in my mind of this trip but one of the most significant and reoccurring is that of the students as they surveyed a short film that we debuted in the LCC Chapel as well as in their dorm. The movie is entitled "Most" and was filmed in the Czech Republic as well as Poland. The word "most" means bridge in the Czech language. For more info on this movie check out www.mostthemovie.com I highly recommend this film. It is one of the best short films I have ever seen.
I thought I would close my thoughts regarding Lithuania with some of the students comments about "Most." I love these kids and found their comments very insightful and revealing. The energy, commitment and devotion they bring to excellence is an inspiration. I have been changed by the experience of working with them.
Plain talking, this movie made a huge influence on me and changed my point of view to each day a lot. There are many movies which have played a great role in my life and this one I may consider to be one of these, who is really significant. Why? Because I understood that we must value each day of our lives, notice that there are many fantastic things going on. We are to busy with daily routine to notice what an amazing world we are living in.
Talking about the scenario of Most, I may say that it was quite unusual. We are so accustomed to simply movies shown on TV or cinema, which mostly show no deep meaning. This one I really appreciated not only because it was made in Czech Republic and Poland, but also because actors were not speaking in English. It is always great to watch such movies, as they are not casual. When we were discussing a little bit after the movie, so there were many opinions about the epoch which Most represented. Through my perspective it may show events which might have happened four or five years ago. I think that such lifestyle still exists. Things dont change so quickly, everything takes lot of time and effort. Another thing I really liked was the shooting of the movie. I still remember how railing was shown so close and so effectively.
Also it was cute that the director didnt hide simple things that occur each day: the small kitchen, old-fashioned jams of the boy, iron-made cups
Mostly other directors tend to hide such poor details in the movies they create. They concentrate on rich peoples life. We mostly receive information as looking through rosy glasses. We, human beings, understand that the life isnt as beautiful as it is usually showed in cinemas. Sometimes I think that people are wiling to see such films which may remind them of a beautiful fairy-tail. It is because we tent to run away from the reality, as there are so much hatred and terror in our living world. But the Most was totally different it forced us to face the true reality and to figure out that the word is not such an amazing place.
Of course, it would be great to change the scenario and to leave the boy alive. I think there would be even about 80% of students who would like to be the movie different. I dont say it wouldnt be great for me as well, but I still remain to my previous opinion: the film wouldnt have left such and impression, if the boy had not been killed. It seems to be too huge price to sacrifice the boy in order to save people in the train.
Well, it wasnt hard to understand that something terrible will happen with the boy, as the running train and the child was showed many times and for couple minutes all the plot was concentrated on the boy and the train. It didnt occur to me straight after movie that Christianity played an important role in the Most. Later I figured out that the daddy represented God, the boy- Jesus and the passengers in the train were we, sinners. The only question which still strikes my mind is: Is God so cruel that could have sacrificed his own son?
Although it was really sad that such a clever and cool boy needed to dye, but it was great to see how a beautiful woman, who seemed to sink her life in drugs, recovered. The gently smile of a child treats each pain
It was really great to watch what a fantastic relationship the daddy and his little son had. Such friendship between parents and children show that although our living world is pretty cruel, but such relationship may save us from degradation. It is like a very tough wire which allows functioning of human beings. Such fellowship is rarely shown in movies nowadays. What I liked in Most apart great relationship between son and father is that there were different characters included, who played an important role. Through these actors the director could broadly show us the lifestyle of this class of people and to express the fathers pain after loosing his own child. It was a noticeable contrast between the moods of the daddy and the emotions both behavior of passengers in the train. When the man was suffering inside, the other characters were chatting, celebrating, smoking or even using drugs
Whatever I wrote her, in my opinion this great and unusual movie made many students to think deeper about their lives and the way they are creating their future
"The Bridge" is very beautiful, filled with deep meaning movie, which cannot leave one indifferent. It fills you with all shades of emotions starting from joy and sadness. You will see many different personalities in the film: funny, serious, sad, and miserable; in short - common people as we are; people, who have their fates, problems and personalities.
The film raises a problem of value of one life. How much the life of one worth? And what can life of one do to many? It could kill, but it saved and gave chance for other lives. However, it is difficult to understand until you see and feel for yourself, what is it like to be a father and sacrifice your only son for people, who maybe even don?t deserve it. But, what is the most significant about this film is that only after watching it, you would understand at least to a certain extent what God and Jesus did for all of us and how difficult was this. We see perfect relationships between caring father and son, the boy with pure heart and open soul in the movie, who live in the poverty but love to each other makes them both feel happy. We also see people, who don?t have any future and hope, drug addicted girl, alone soldier, drunken youngsters? everyone the boy was sacrificed for.
The film was made so carefully and well thought that during it you are so imbued to main characters that you feel this pain and understand for yourself how difficult the choice is. BUT. The choice is done. And people are saved as well as many other future lives.
Unfortunately, most of the people nowadays are those people on the train who live because of sacrifice and do not realize it.
I am really thankful for the opportunity to watch a fantastic and fascinating movie which can impress a great variety of people. First, that I really liked about it was ambiguity of its interpretation. One could interpret it regarding Christian faith and compare it with the life and death of Jesus Christ (moreover, the movie lasts and its characters live on the screen for 33 minutes - the exact amount of years Jesus lived). But at the same time it could be perceived as the question of choices by those people who are not Christians. The choice here was between two evils - two events of death - death of Lado or death of a number of people on the train, and thus the main hero should make the choice which evil was lesser in terms of all mankind, but not personal will.
The other thing which impressed me personally much was man's forgiveness. He forgave the train and people on the train whom I suppose he could blame. And then at the very end he rejoiced while seeing a woman - a passenger from the train, eventually, who was able to prolong mankind by giving birth to her child, but at first by being saved.
The picture of Eastern Europe in the film was quite impressive by its truth as well. The genius of director showed the depressing state of things which was very common in the area for a really long period.
I also would very appreciate if you could send me a copy of the movie "Most", as I would really like to give it to a friend of mine - Myhailo Voytovych. He is currently working at Ukrainian university - National University of "Ostroh Academy", and he also runs a cinema club for students, and he tries to select films and movies shot by different directors, and which are can not be seen on television or in cinemas. The other thing that he looks for in a movie is deepness that is thought-provoking for further discussions at the club's meetings. Moreover, I am sure that he would suggest it not only for club members and its guests, but also to Department of Religion at the University.
Best wishes and blesses!
The movie Most is a very powerful story that makes it impossible to remain indifferent after you watch it. Before watching the movie I had heard a similar story but, nevertheless, I was very deeply impressed by what I saw.
There are two main points in the movie that especially caught my attention. First of all, the movie shows different people with their lives and desires; all of them strive for something all of them seek love and relationships. But interestingly, many of them have a different idea of love: some of them think love means to be close to the object of love, others think it is purely a sexual experience, still others think it is something else. But what the movie is trying to show is that the true love is really a sacrifice; it is not selfish it seeks the benefit for others. In this respect, the father who takes the choice to sacrifice his son in order to save the people in the train is a good metaphor for what God has done for humanity and what the true love is.
The second thing that is still vivid in my memory is the scene when the father meets one of the women from the train. The woman is holding a little child in her hands; the face of the woman is shining with happiness she has a new life, a new horizon in from of her. Even thought the father has lost his son, and the loss seems to be too hard to forget, he realizes at this moment that the sacrifice that he has done is not a waste it has given new lives to the people in the train. It is almost as if the father saw his own son in that cute little child that the woman was holding in her hands. In the same way, God sees the fruit of His sacrifice in us, Christians, who have accepted the true manifestation of His love.
Thank you for your performance in chapel and for showing the film to LCC community. I came in late to watch the film and thus do not remember the title (but was on time to see it from the beginning). I think though that you know which film I am talking about, the 32 minutes long.
The film moved me deeply. In fact, too much since towards the end I could not quite concentrate on what was going on and even wanted it to be over, for I was afraid of the bad ending and it seemed that emotionally it is too hard for me to handle. But it is probably my problem and here is why. The day I watched the movie it was my 2nd day back at work. I was off from work for over a year, since I was on maternity leave, taking care of my baby, who now just turned 1. So the first days at work were hard, because I knew my son was having a hard time adjusting to the babysitter. Plus, I have an older son Dovydas, who is 3,5 years old and the boy in the movie reminded me so much of him. He is a happy, friendly little boy who goes to kindergarten and enjoys it, so I do not worry about him, but still...
As I watched the movie I suspected that something was going to happen to the boy and I was thinking, "Oh no, this is not a good time for me to watch movies like that..." Then I thought, "It's not good for parents to watch movies like that". But after I understood all the meaning of it I thought that it is exactly parents who should watch the film, because they best could understand the meaning of it and the sacrifice of Christ. Maybe it is because of my emotional stage, but I did not quite get the meaning of the film. When it ended, I did not realise that the lady in a blue hat holding a baby was the same woman who was a drug addict in the train. But during the discussion when I finally got that, it dawned on me, "Wow!" Then I realized what the meaning was and I thought how wonderful the movie was, to tell the story this way. You asked about how accurately the director of the film showed Eastern Europe. Yes, I agree with the comment that we had life like that several years ago, but I think that maybe not 20 yrs ago, but maybe 10. And some people live like that even now. The boy's bed reminded me of the bed at my parents house that used to be my brother's bed. The wooden train was like the train I used to take when I was a student (now I am 32), although some trains that go shorter distances nowadays are similar to the one in the film. I think it reflected the life in Eastern Europe very well.
Overall, this movie is one of the best Christian movies I have ever seen. Like you mentioned, I think it is a very good way to tell a Christ story. Very good for discussions, for it raises ethical dilemmas and I always think that discussions like that are a good way for people to witness about faith. I should compliment and thank the author of this film. Truely, it is done marvelously and thank you very much for using your time and talent to make movies like that. In Lithuania I get so frustrated with most movies they show on TV and I really get refreshed and inspired when I get to watch something like this.
Finally, I should tell, that my husband is involved in videography a little bit (has his little photography-videography business). And being a Christian he also has this dream about either making a short movie (of course, probably not such high level), or publishing a book of photographs that could serve as telling the story of Christ. And I am waiting until you, Jim will leave it at the library so that I can show it to my husband as an example of what a Christian story in a movie might look like. By the way, I told him about a wonderful film I saw and he asked me to ask you if there is a DVD of it and if we could buy it.
Thank you again. God bless you!
Lithuania Christian College
Could you, please, pass on a huge BRAVO to your friend?:) the movie is just superb- when i think of it, the word QUALITY crosses my mind.
As a Lithuania-born, i can say with confidence that the human essence of Europeans has been fully grasped! And, perhaps, it's not only about the human essence- it's the whole European touch that can be seen in everything: the way people look, dress, interact, move... it's hard to put it to words , but it definitely looked and felt authentic!
A few things that especially struck me:
- How different Americans and Europeans are! I mean we could see the American guy for a few minutes (actually there were 2 of them, right?), but they so stood out to me! the reason why it was so suprising to me is that i don't notice it in my daily interactions! it's amazing how an American director could shoot the movie that is so not American!
- I will not touch on the precisely Biblical aspect here, because people have commented on it already; however, i felt that the whole sacrifice theme was very cleverly presented:
Sacrifice is done for people who don't even notice it, and, to be honest, many of them appear to be "not worhy of it", if i could say so... but if it changes the life of at least one person (the girl in the red hat), if at least one person is "saved", then it's still worth it... anyway, i realize that this is far not a "professional analysis", but i just wanted to express my appreciation!
Lithuania Christian College
Thank you for a moment of genuine and sincere feelings. This movie was something I would not expected to come from America that usually exports the Holiwoodish mentality films to this part of the world. I was pleasently surprised. The movie made me think, and that is the most important. So, thank you.
The plot of the movie reminds us that humanity and the true sacrifice is possible only when people understand that the strongest human muscle is the heart. A fathers sacrifice of his sun for the sake of a much larger group of people reveals a true drama of a human life. My happiness VS the well-being of others. In that particular situation there is no time to think. The father almost instinclty chooses to save others from tragedy. If we look at our lives it takes lots of thinking to do and lots of effort to just donate a part of our resources of our happines to the others, not talking about everything that we have. What is very unique about the character of the father is that this man feels responsible for the society that is in his hands, having a strong sense of accountability for his actions, he intuitively senses that no real genuine personal happiness is possibly built on the tragedy of the others.
The movie strikes because the thread of sincerity is never absent in the movie. Be it despair of making a costly sacrifice, or genuine indiference of a girl who is accompanied by a foreigner. I thought that was hallarious the way Chezk girls treated foreigners and responded to the way they behave in Eastern Europe. Men comming from much more consumerist society seem to just not fit in the scene. I can sense a bit of scorn the movie maker shows to those foreigners as if he knew that these men just come here for another "fun" adventure to feel more content about their "prideful" advanced country, but show-off really doesn't impress and echo in the inner culture of Eastern Europe that more than anything else searches for brotherly understanding a genuine concern.
I think the setting of the story - Eastern Europe is a place well thought of. That is a place where simplicity of resources and sincerity of a feeling still enable people to be sensitive to spirituallity. We see the faces and places that lack that material satisfaction that makes people indulge in self-praising and self-directed thoughts. We don't see that content expression of being honored and praised by others. Instead, we see a heart of a person who gladly finds a meaning of life in a smile of a woman and a boy whose life he saved.
Some westerners come here to experience that. But will they find it once the ball of capitalism and consumerism gets rolling at the full speed?
Lithuania, Klaipeda, 4 yr student
I enjoyed watching "The Bridge." First of all, I think it is was beautifully filmed. The plot, the colors, the music, the actors--all of these pieces fit together well to create an overall, if you like it call that way, Euro feel :) I enjoyed the way that scenes did not look "perfect" in every detail. The streets were sometimes dirty, the apartment was not brand-new, etc.
The relationship depicted between the father and his son were very emotionally touching, because it is not an everyday reality. In reality, often it is the mom who takes care of the children, and the father...well, he is 'free to walk away'.
The movie felt 'real'. The young people depicted in 'the Bridge' are authentic to the actual youth nowadays. The way they hang out in groups, the way they dress creates an impression of contemporaneity. The apartment, however, seemed old-fashioned to me--more Soviet style, like the ones we would have 15 years ago. But I assumed that the family was poor, and therefore did not have money to do repairs.
One question that I had was about the relationship between Czeck women and Americans. I wondered why the author had chosen to demonstrate exactly such kind of affairs--with foreigners.
Finally, the message itself was very powerful. It was emotionally hard to watch the movie, because from the moment the father and son approached the bridge, i knew something horrible would happen. When the accident actually happened, all i could think about was, "why??? why do such things have to happen to innocent people?" it was painful to watch father's sufferings. Even during the final scene, when the father smiled again with new hope, i was overcome by rather bitter emotions, and still had the same question--why?
Later, as i reflected on the movie, i started realizing the connection between the story on the bridge and the story on the cross. I was once more reminded of the fragility of human life. Also, because of having this emotional experience--suffering along with the father--i gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for what it actually meant for God to sacrifice His own Son. In a way, 'the bridge' is similar to 'the passion of Christ' movie--we sometimes read these Bible stories without much emotional engagement. it's seems like a story from the past, plain, black on white. yet, when you actually experience the same story with your eyes and ears, it has a much stronger effect.
Thanks for bringing the movie to lcc. it was a pleasure to watch! much to think about in 33 minutes! :)
Jim, i hope you'll find this helpful! i also hope you had a good and safe trip home, and that you are resting and re-adjusting well after your trip!
Thank you again for coming to lcc. it was a lot of fun, the same as last year! even more, as this time there was the two of you :) i hope tanya and your sons are doing well!
smiles and blessings,
agata kramena :)