‘Skin’ filmmaker shares story of real-life racism and the road to redemption
By Emily McFarlan Miller Religion News Service
Filled with sex, violence and profanity, it may not be the feel-good movie of the year. And Academy Award-winning filmmaker Guy Nattiv is careful to note it’s not a redemption story. But Nattiv’s new film, “Skin” — inspired by the true story of Bryon Widner’s departure from white supremacy — is, at its core, a story about good and evil and people’s capacity to change. “I really wanted to tell a story that deals with forgiveness and acceptance,” Nattiv said. It’s hard to ask people to forgive, the Israeli filmmaker said. But acceptance is a different matter. If you can’t accept someone who wants to leave hate behind, he said, you don’t give them a chance to change. And Widner wanted to change.
The Hudson River School romantics and the theology of landscape
By Dennis Raverty “We are still in Eden; the wall that shuts us out is our own ignorance and folly” —Thomas Cole Art history as it is currently practiced in both Europe and the United States is a very secularized field of study — and this is true even among those scholars who specialize in the European old masters, like Michelangelo or Rembrandt, artists who openly deal with sacred or biblical content directly.
Nineteenth-century painters are said to have secularized Western art but it is perhaps more sacralization than secularization in the case of landscape. A minor, formerly profane genre, landscape became elevated and sacralized by the Romantics, taking on lofty themes with a high moral tone and a transcendent gravitas formerly reserved for religious painting alone. In the United States, these Romantic landscapists are often referred to as the “Hudson River School,” a Romantic tendency evident over the course of two or three generations of artists. After falling out of favor for a while, appreciation for Hudson River School painting increased dramatically during the postwar period, when the alienated, Romantic abstractions of artists like Pollock and DeKooning created a new appetite for the sublime.