A more insightful movie from the soviet late 50s-early 60 anti-religious campaign
By God's grace by faith in his Son Jesus Christ, I'll analyze the following case of anti-religious movie from the campaign started by Nikita Hrusciov in USSR against "sectarian" groups.
A young teacher Kira is recalling a pupil she cares about, Olea, whose father is a workaholic, who is not paying attention to her problems - leading to loneliness, despair, after hooligan actions of her classmate Gena, with the teacher and class doing nothing, except for one boy Mitya disapproving. Later Olea befriends Kira, seeing her as a mother figure, since her own died.
It shows an example of anti-religious lecture focusing on science wonders versus the caricature of backward and greedy priests, plus replicating wonders of icons dripping tears and candles lighting by themselves by hidden tubes and chemistry tricks.
When Gena and Mitya dispute regarding God's existence, Mitya points to the magnificent management of the universe as proof of God. When alone, Mitya and Olea share a kiss, noticed by the principal, who the next day shames her before the whole class calling to protect her dignity.
Lacking support from Kira, the girl leans on Mitya, who brings her to his aunt, as healing sorrows in people's souls by singing psalms.
Another person is advised by a group of sectarian women to seek his long missing son, according to a prophecy in a specific town, which turns out true.
Later Mitya reveals that he and his aunt believe in God, probably being pentecostal Christians, according to their Bible reading:
"When the day of Pentecost came..All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them."
Spying Gena makes another prank, again being slapped by Olea, others tell him to leave and denounce them, but the group tells Olea to ask his forgiveness, for unchristian behavior.
The sect head complains to Kira about the hooliganism, leading to a school comrade court, ending with Olea kissing Gena's hand for keeping silent.
Still she is scolded by her father, for straying away from the komsomol (communist youth), still caring more about his work calls, so feeling unloved Olea hands him her party membership and runs away, leading to his heart attack.
She keeps visiting him in hospital, but leaves school, joining the sect, dismissing her teacher's fears, on seeing her and others praying for her father.
Again we see humans having an inner need for love and guidance from perfect Father, not just home, food, social activity and human ethics, without actual love, care and protection.
As son of God Jesus Christ showed:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
It seems as writer's attempt to teach how to deal right, Kira leaves the house of the sectarian, organizes an anti-sect gathering and newspaper publication to alert the people.
The sect is shown to be corrupt and unbiblical, actually led by Mitya's aunt, who asks others to keep the holy lie hidden, with Mitya rejecting this, going to the anti-religious meeting to defend his Christian faith.
However Olea was treated by ecstatic prayer sessions, leading to her emotional breakdown and speaking in "tongues", while looking crazed and babbling incoherent nonsense.
It illustrates why apostle Paul was against women ruling the churches, telling them to be silent in the church, because of the over-emotional and irrational women yelling and pretending to be given a prophecy leading to evil, commanding Olea's crucifixion for pride.
At the anti-religious meeting Mitya comes out as Christian, a surprise for his school colleagues, complaining they paid little attention to know him better.
Later the teacher reveals that the sect found the missing son, by stealing response letters from the orphanage. On Gena's warning all rush to save Olea from danger, with the false prophet aunt fleeing, while the teacher is showed reconciled with Olea.
CONCLUSION: In comparison to the deadly and violent persecutions of Christian faith in the first decades after start of Bolshevik rule, this movie shows a milder phase of anti-religious opposition.
The writers show more honesty by acknowledging the faults of komsomol, school and family in lacking love and support, when redirecting most human effort in common work, since the spiritual side of Christian love that is "Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and Love your neighbor like yourself" was not known in the communist state ideology, focusing on outward devotion for the benefit and praise of the state and party.
They acknowledge some bullying, lack of real friendship and closeness among komsomol, school ethics errors by communist phariseism driving people away to seek emotional support among Christian believers, while militant atheist methods of mockery and hooliganism are shown as harmful, just uniting Christians better in face of persecution.
It warns people against destructive sects, which I as a Christian agree with, as Lord Jesus Christ taught:
"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.."
Actual Christian group would do good actions as Jesus did - healing, care, mercy, loving not force, "holy lies" and violence which are evil and sin against God, thankfully the movie sect was fictional.
It warns all to be more caring, helping the needy, warning that children need a full family for care and guidance, as I should note as, God set by mother and father, since otherwise they might turn to replacement figures, who can be predators and abusers. But we humans are weak, needing God who is perfect and good, to overcome our imperfection and failures.
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