How a religious or moral issue of concern to Christians has been dealt with in either a TV drama or film

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CS Lewis otherwise known as ‘Jack’ wrote many children books based on Christianity and strengthened an argument that Christianity had largely forgotten – ‘The Freewill argument’. Jack argues that God wants the innocent to suffer, but many believers have lost faith because of this. Many people wonder why God wants us to suffer. In the film ‘Shadowlands’ it explores the reasons behind this question, around the idea that ‘experience’ is a brutal and necessary teacher.

This is ‘The Freewill argument’. Shadowlands’ illustrates the ‘Freewill argument’, by using Jack’s life as an example. Jack tragically lost his mother when young, but he learned from this to avoid becoming emotionally with others so that he wouldn’t have to suffer pain later on. This resulted in Jack becoming cold and hard in his attitude to others, until an American woman, Joy Gresham came into his life and without realising he fell in love with her. He chooses to marry her even though he knew she had terminal cancer.

Jack chose to enjoy the months he had left with her in return for the pain he would suffer once she had gone. Jack believed and the film was trying to show that this is the way of life, the bigger the happiness, the greater the sadness, it is through life’s experience you learn the difference between good and bad, but this is what you have to go through it order to be free. This film is focused around those who believe in the ‘Freewill argument’, but they portrayed issues around this argument in a way so that atheists can relate to it.

Everyone will experience bad times, such as Jack did when young and everyone will experience good times as Jack did during Joy’s last months whatever there beliefs, these are issues they have to come to understand. The film shows life is a bed of experiences and it is through these experiences that we all learn, suffering has a purpose as Jack says in the film ‘experience is a brutal teacher, but you learn, my God you learn.

Everybody in this world will enjoy certain things and hate others, the film explains this when Jack says ‘we live in the shadowlands, sun is always shining somewhere else, another bend in the road, over the brow of a hill’. The film mainly shows how a theist explains suffering, how it is not God’s fault as God created us all free, God wants us to suffer as there is a purpose behind it. The film was sensitive towards the theme of suffering.

It is good for those who are suffering to help them understand why they have to go through it and the film reminds all that they have to suffer in order to benefit being free. I feel that the film dealt well with the theme of suffering and the Freewill argument as it showed the hurt and pain people go through as well as the great happiness they have. It showed how people feel through the good and not so good times. In ‘Shadowlands’ the mood set tries to express the emotions people would feel at both times, making the audience aware of them and realise that everything can not just be taken for granted.

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