Insight blogger, Kasia Wiśniowska, watches And the God Who…, a shortlisted film directed by Mahshid Farin Far.
A screen caption at the beginning of the film And the God Who… announces that the character of the teacher is based on a real person, who we presume may have influenced the director’s life.
The story happens in a school for adolescents experiencing various health problems. They are no different from their healthy peers. They have quarrels; teens rebel against everything, and they need someone to look up to. A conflict between two of the boys appears when the one is selected to play the King in a school’s play. The other one cannot accept the teacher’s choice, as he considers himself as King and calls his friend ‘cripple’. The boys argue in the class, insulting each other and eventually start asking questions, where is God in their lives? The chosen ‘King’ solemnly believes that because his mother prays for his health, he will be healed one day. The other boy believes that prayers are all for nothing and, if God exists, he would not let him suffer. The teacher has a difficult task to face, but manages to show the phenomenon of faith more as ‘hope’, rather than ‘expectation’.
Under the influence of teacher’s speech, boys calm down and start reflecting on their lives and hopes for the future. They start meditating on the essence of prayer and what it really means to them.
The film explores issue of faith and the religion in a particular cultural context. Even more interesting is to notice how faith is sometimes strongly connected to the history and the tradition of a country. There is no doubt that that And the God Who… will provoke some keen questions.