Posts Tagged ‘Netflix’


See the source imageJoe Exotic is a private zoo-internet-reality television personality and Tiger King is the story of what his world looks like. I bring this up as, with physical distancing having something that can provoke discussion with family, or friends online is never a bad thing. Also it shines a light on the private zoo and exotic animal rescue industry in the USA, as my wife would comment to our daughter, “we can buy a tiger for way cheaper than a Corgi for you.”, that and the fact that there is 4,000 tigers in the wild, and they estimate between 5,000 to 10,000 in captivity in the USA just sets the stage.

In the course of the documentary and following the winding road, you meet a drug cartel lord and his rationale for what he does based on his love of animals. An animal rescue couple, with hinky things in their past, and watch closely and ask yourself if what she is doing is any different than the private zoos? It is an intriguing conversation episode by episode as the story unfolds.

Within the private zoo movement those shared you meet hustlers, odd balls, ex-cons that can find a new life finally. But there is a darker stream, and yes this is darker than the big cat mill breeding for cubs as the major money maker is the photo ops with a cub and petting a cub that see the cats only making major money in their first 12 weeks of life. There is darker stories that happen as well, when you see the outcomes of the capitalism. The other thing, is seeing how the animals are used as leverage in building communes and cult like levels of obedience.

This is done, through constant work, sleep deprivation, shared purpose. In one private zoo it is polygamy, where the owner has multiple wives and if the thread is followed properly that he groomed through the previous means, through an intern project.

In the life of the Tiger King, what is seen is the grooming of multiple husbands in his fiefdom, flouting of laws, amassing of debt and the anxiety it creates, growing psychosis and what happens when there is not a healthy social support net around someone in the journey…

Each episode creates points of conversation, and moments of what the? But as one watches you can see real time mental illness and cult leader like behaviours within the community, and the question that needs to be asked though is what is the remedy for this, a healthy resolution for the animals, the staff, and those caught in the rising tide?

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Chiwetel Ejiofor in Come Sunday (2018)Netflix has entered the faith film market. It maybe the production of essentially the faith story of a Unitarian-Universalist, but the vibe of the feature is very much that of any Christian movie production. It is the journey of transformation, for what happens if as someone that always has preached they are the messenger of God– they get a message from God?

That is the true story of Bishop Carlton Pearce, who for 25 years was the rising star of Pentecostalism; Oral Roberts “adopted son” (and the university’s alumni) and the shepherd of a mixed race mega-church. Come Sunday   (2018) is the story of his mystic experience as he hears of the Rwandan genocide and begins to wrestle with the fundamental drive of the evangelical endeavour. Salvation of the sinner from Hell. And the voice he hears tells him simply, there is no hell all are saved that is what the cross was about.

The collapse of the fear enterprise, and what it cost him in the form of pride, money and prestige. But also what it meant for his authenticity, and for the next steps in understanding Brother Jesus’ Gospel of Inclusion. It is a transformative journey as it forces the hearer, Pearce, to not only wrestle through the idea of true love, but also what it means for the here and now world. Decisions of inclusion, and belonging for people. It is a struggle out of a faith and ethic compass based solely on fear to belong, and the ultimate risk of belonging. For Pearce to risk losing the fear, he had to accept losing his comfort zone, friends he believed he had, and being labelled as a heretic (and ostracized). No journey is easy, especially one that is rooted in true belonging.

It poses the question for your own journey:

What happens when you remove the fear?

Trailer here.