Bill Blizek is a professor of philosophy and religion at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the founding editor of the “Journal of Religion & Film.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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On Tuesday we got to see "Blood Brother," the story of Rocky Braat's journey to India, where he took up residence in an orphanage for children with HIV. After returning to the United States, Rocky talked his friend, Steve Hoover, into coming back to India with him to record the story of the children. At the beginning of the movie, Rocky's grandfather tells a story about how Rocky saved a kitten on the brink of death. Much of the film is about Rocky saving one of the children that is expected to die. We interpreted the film as a savior story--someone sacrificing himself in order to save others. The movie is very bleak and depressing, since Rocky can help only a few of the children.
Before the movie, "Blood Brother," we got to see "You Don't Know Jack," a movie by Morgan Spurlock. A high school sophomore, Jack Andraka, has a serious interest in biology and chemistry. Jack also is very smart. He thinks that he has discovered a test for pancreatic cancer and so he applies for laboratory space at 200 universities. Since Jack is only a high school student, only one university gives him the space. Using that space, however, Jack develops a test for pancreatic cancer that allows earlier detection, is more effective and less expensive than other tests. Since early detection is crucial to survival for pancreatic cancer victims, Jack's test will save many lives.
Your might be interested to know that the Associate Director on "Bible Quiz" is a young woman from Omaha, Katie Warzak. Katie grew up in Omaha. She went to Oakdale Elementary and Westside High School. After graduation, she went to school at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she met the movie's director, Nicole Teeny. She now lives in Brooklyn. This is her first feature length documentary film and she was delighted to work with her college classmate. Oddly enough, Nicole is an evangelical Christian and Katie is a Roman Catholic. Katie is happy to work on the production of others' movies, but she prefers writing and hopes that the next movie she works on will be one that she has written. Katie told me that the film team had such a good time at Slamdance that they are considering doing another film together, just so that they can come back to Park City. Katie's parents, Dr. William Warzak (UNMC) and Christine Majors, still live in Omaha.