Sunday, September 10, 2006

Movie Review: Gubra

I watched Gubra (Yasmin Ahmad's sequel to Sepet) and this is what I thought of it;

Gubra comes across with a strong flavour of pluralism. It is done skillfully demonstrating from existential drama that despite the different 'forms' of religion, the pathos and aspiration of authentic religion are certain ethical universals that all mankind have. Now if all the differences in religion were merely in form, which it is not, such an argument would be complete and I would not have to add any more comments. Unfortunately though, the differences in the forms of religions, are many times symptomatic of greater fundamental differences. There is however a universal reality, fundamentals, universal truths, ethics, laws, humanity - whatever you may call it. And this is a reality that Yasmin has successfully called our attention to.

A great theme of the movie is that religion that is good should bear fruit in love and charity towards the loss and broken. I would add to this in a negative form that religion that does not reach out in love to the lost, disdained and sinful is useless to the human race. It beneficial to an elite few, or a huge class, but humanity as a whole should see it for what it is, an empire and not the hope of mankind.

The universal language of love, charity and the golden rule is a reality that all of us do indeed understand - and this would help us to live, learn and love each other despite our religious differences. It cannot however be taken further that it can possibly go, to mean that somehow all our religions are just different forms of the same substance. If religion is man’s attempt to get to God, then this is a collection of universals that transcend the specifics of religion –
(1) man, (2) aspiration and (3) God.

But it is in the definition of the specifics, (1) like what is man? and (2) what constitutes a genuine quest of aspiration? or (3) who or what is God? where religions can differ greatly and must be evaluated and measured against reality where possible.

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