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Film Review: Volition - A Film that Demands a Radical Choice
Life Site News ^ | November 25, 2008 | John Jalsevac

Posted on 11/25/2008 5:06:40 PM PST by Between the Lines

Tim and Matthew Morgan have somehow produced a first-class short film that masterfully deals with the taboo issue of abortion despite working with a budget that would pay for approximately thirty seconds of a Hollywood blockbuster. "Volition," first created for a short film competition, is as yet unknown, but will soon, I predict, become very well known indeed, as it very well should.

Indeed, Volition is an astonishing achievement. The film itself is not made any greater by the fact that Tim Morgan, who directed it, is only 23-years-old, and that his brother, who composed all of the music, is only 20-years-old, but the ages of the brothers does help put the scope of their accomplishment into even greater relief.

Volition places its central character, who goes unnamed, in the historical contexts of what the filmmakers clearly believe to be three of the greatest human rights violations in history: the holocaust, slavery, and abortion. In each of these situations the protagonist is placed in a position of some authority, with the promise of more to come: in the first, he is a Nazi who is being considered for a promotion; in the second, he is a respected American physician who has travelled to Africa and studied the blacks; and in the third, he is a promising medical student on scholarship whose girlfriend is pregnant.

The premise is as clever and well-executed as it is effective. It purpose is clear: by placing the same figure, presumably with the same sort of upbringing, and the same genetic and temperamental predispositions, into the crucible of extreme historical times that demand a response, we may observe his choices, or, in other words, we may try his “volition.”

As the synopsis of the film states, “Throughout history, men have been faced with difficult choices in a world that makes it easy for them to conform. This film explores the hope that lies behind every decision made in the face of adversity; the hope that is buried in the heart of those that look beyond themselves and see something bigger worth fighting for.”

The protagonist is scripted as the perfectly volatile figure, the man who walks on the razor’s edge: young, handsome, intelligent and capable, he is being embraced by the establishment in each historical age, invited by those who control the power and the prestige to climb the ranks and enjoy the benefits with them.

But in each vignette he is caught between two alternatives that are so dramatically mutually opposed that they demand a radical choice. He cannot not act. The times are too extreme, the choices too stark. When presented with the holocaust one must choose the holocaust, or rebel against it. And so too, the film argues, with slavery and abortion. Passivity is not only cowardly, but signals tacit acceptance and by default makes one a co-conspirator with the prevailing spirit of the age.

Luke Williams, the unknown actor who plays the lead, was a spectacular find; he has the perfect face for the role – haunting and deeply expressive - and he uses it well. It is a great credit to Tim Morgan, who wrote the script, that he provides the opportunity for Williams to do so by avoiding the commonest and most annoying error of the amateur screenwriter – to pack the script with dialogue.

In “Volition” dialogue is scarce, and what dialogue there is, is strictly necessary. Instead the carefully constructed and deeply moving visuals, undergirded by Matthew Morgan’s first-rate soundtrack, are what carries this short film through to its conclusion. The efficiency of the Morgan brothers is breathtaking - they expertly weave together and develop three separate story lines, while creating an intimate knowledge of the main characters, and all in a mere fifteen minutes or so.

A fascinating element of the film is that we are not shown the protagonist’s final choice either in Nazi Germany, or in the American, pre-Civil War South. It is made clear in both cases that he is deeply divided and dissatisfied with what he is being asked to participate in. And in each case he is brought to the breaking point, as the full cruelty and inhumanness of the age is suddenly brought to bear upon him. But that is where the viewer leaves him – in one case, as a Nazi soldier, suffering a heart-rending emotional breakdown, and in the other, looking on with clenched jaw as a black child is beaten outside his window. Where he goes from there, we do not know.

It is as if because Nazism and slavery are closed chapters in history, they can no longer be altered. Instead the protagonist is left in his state of tortured tension, unable to choose, unable to act, his will frozen in the immovable past.

It is different in the case of abortion, however. Because abortion is ongoing, because his choice is presented in the here and now, the protagonist can change the course of events. And, of course, in the end he does make such a choice, though I will not say what it is. In that sense the protagonist serves as a symbol for those who are watching the film: those who are alive now and cannot, therefore, do anything about either the holocaust or slavery, but who can still make a decision in regards to abortion.

The sheer beauty and artistry of “Volition,” the excruciating attention to detail evidenced in every shot, and the emphasis on the human story over its moral, ensures that those who watch the film must, like its protagonist, respond with a choice. They cannot, no matter how much they disagree with its message at first glance, write it off as a boring, or unbelievable, or crude attempt at making a piece of pro-life propaganda and leave it at that. The film demands that the viewer either choose to go along with the parallelism, to accept the similarity between the three great human rights violations, or either reject it - to watch passively is impossible. Either the current situation with abortion is like these past cruelties, in which case it must be vigorously opposed with the full powers of the mind and body, or it is an entirely new situation. But either way, Volition ensures that its viewers cannot ignore the question as unimportant.


TOPICS: Current Events; Moral Issues
KEYWORDS: abortion; digg; holocaust; moralabsolutes; prolife; slavery
To watch Volition, go to: http://www.thedoorpost.com/hope/film/?film=420351f1aefa2b42b1772fe9d5cc044a
1 posted on 11/25/2008 5:06:40 PM PST by Between the Lines
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To: Between the Lines

Stunning. Everyone must immediately click on the link, give 15 minutes to this film. Extraordinary.


2 posted on 11/25/2008 5:42:22 PM PST by jobim
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To: jobim

Very nice. I have spread it.


3 posted on 11/25/2008 6:06:40 PM PST by Chickensoup (we owe HUSSEIN & Democrats the exact kind respect & loyalty that they showed us, Bush & Reagan)
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To: Between the Lines

Truly stunning.


4 posted on 11/25/2008 8:12:52 PM PST by samiam1972 ("It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."-Mother Teresa)
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To: Between the Lines

Abortion is more evil than slavery.


5 posted on 11/25/2008 8:59:22 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: cpforlife.org; Coleus; cgk; narses; MHGinTN; wagglebee; little jeremiah

Perhaps you would like to ping this film.


6 posted on 11/26/2008 7:02:02 AM PST by Between the Lines (I am very cognizant of my fallibility, sinfulness, and other limitations.)
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To: Between the Lines
From the Prayer ping list, this film is one which needs to go viral, across the nation and around the world, a.s.a.p. :PING))))))
7 posted on 11/26/2008 9:35:35 AM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: SolidWood; i_dont_chat; P-Marlowe; Monkey Face; Between the Lines; notpoliticallycorewrecked; ...

!


8 posted on 11/26/2008 9:52:33 AM PST by MHGinTN (Believing they cannot be deceived, they cannot be convinced when they are deceived.)
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To: Coleus; nickcarraway; narses; Mr. Silverback; Canticle_of_Deborah; TenthAmendmentChampion; ...

20 weeks from conception

Please Freepmail me if you want on or off my Pro-Life Ping List.
9 posted on 11/26/2008 11:05:09 AM PST by cpforlife.org (A Catholic Respect Life Curriculum is available FREE at KnightsForLife.org)
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To: cpforlife.org; Between the Lines

Thanks for the ping, cpforlife. Between the Lines, my youngest asked to watch it twice. I ended up crying with her sniffling next to me, it is such a moving film. let’s pray that this film will be seen by millions who will be swayed away from the evil of abortion and the complacency of just going along with things.


10 posted on 11/26/2008 4:27:30 PM PST by voiceinthewind
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To: Between the Lines; Coleus; Salvation; wombtotomb; Cicero; mabelkitty; NYer; Pyro7480; ...

Great stuff. Let’s try to keep this thread alive until it gets 100 replies. It is important that folks see this movie and tell friends about it.

http://www.thedoorpost.com/hope/film/?film=420351f1aefa2b42b1772fe9d5cc044a


11 posted on 11/26/2008 7:04:19 PM PST by Diago (The Truth About Margaret Sanger at http://margaretsanger.blogspot.com/)
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Digg it:

http://digg.com/movies/Film_Review_Volition_A_Film_that_Demands_a_Radical_Choice#


12 posted on 11/26/2008 8:44:28 PM PST by Diago (The Truth About Margaret Sanger at http://margaretsanger.blogspot.com/)
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To: Between the Lines; wagglebee; Coleus; narses

Ping!


13 posted on 11/26/2008 8:52:44 PM PST by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Diago; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; annalex; ..

don’t for to “digg” it. You will have to register.


14 posted on 11/26/2008 11:12:03 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Physician-assisted Murder (aka-Euthanasia), Don't Democrats just kill ya?)
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Digg it:

http://digg.com/movies/Film_Review_Volition_A_Film_that_Demands_a_Radical_Choice#


15 posted on 11/26/2008 11:14:10 PM PST by Coleus (Abortion and Physician-assisted Murder (aka-Euthanasia), Don't Democrats just kill ya?)
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To: Diago

Then I’ll add my BTTT.


16 posted on 11/27/2008 4:40:18 AM PST by 3catsanadog (I plan to give the new President the same respect and dignity the other side gave Bush.)
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To: Coleus; PureSolace; netmilsmom; StarCMC; narses; fanfan; murphE; Mjaye; GodGunsGuts; Momaw Nadon; ..
Digg

FReepmail me if you would like to be added to the digg ping list!

17 posted on 11/27/2008 6:56:58 AM PST by jan in Colorado (In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:11)
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To: jan in Colorado

Dugg.


18 posted on 11/27/2008 8:06:14 AM PST by fanfan
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To: Between the Lines

Pretty awesome flick.


19 posted on 11/27/2008 3:07:20 PM PST by TASMANIANRED (TAZ:Untamed, Unpredictable, Uninhibited.)
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To: All

Bump


20 posted on 11/27/2008 3:39:57 PM PST by Uhaul (Time to water the tree of liberty...)
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To: Between the Lines

bump for when I am out from behind the firewall


21 posted on 12/01/2008 7:09:59 AM PST by CharlieOK1 (Don't blame me, I voted for Sarah)
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To: Diago

shoulda got more bumps


22 posted on 12/16/2008 8:19:52 PM PST by Diago (The Truth About Margaret Sanger at http://margaretsanger.blogspot.com/)
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