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"Waiting for Armageddon" at Brandeis

(I’m hoping that this item is not as error-riddled as the previous. My apologies to Adam Roffman, Bobcat Goldthwait and Abba.)


Now that I’ve got your attention about worthy local film happenings, you might want to head over to Waltham tomorrow to Brandeis University where Jewishfilm2009, the fine film festival annually organized by the National Center for Jewish Film, opens with the infuriating and frightening documentary “Waiting for Armageddon”  by Franco Sacchi, Kate Davis and David Heilbroner (all three of whom will attend the screening, introduced by Professor Jonathan Sarna of Brandeis).

My first impression watching the film is -- do we really have to pay attention any more to these clowns after the last election? Here are all the fundamentalist wing nuts again, trotting out their end of days prophecies, their hatreds and perverted interpretations of history and current events. “Then you had Nazis celebrating the Aryan Race and denigrating the Jews,” says one complacent face. “Now you have multiculturalists celebrating the feminists and gay lifestyle and denigrating European males.”

But fear not. That abominable denigration of European males —  and if you think denigration is not as bad as genocide, well, you just have not been denigrated — is coming to an end real soon. “Waiting” outlines the step by step process: first, the Rapture,  when all the good folks (and you know who you are) are taken by Jesus up into the clouds, a kind of gaseous grandstand where you can watch the fireworks and carnage to follow. “It will be fun!” notes one future Rapturee. The Tribulation and Armageddon come next, all orchestrated by the Antichrist, whom you will recognize because he will broker a seven year peace treaty between Israel and its enemies. And then the Millennium, a thousand years of peace in the soothing bucolic suburb that is now the world, which you can share with JC and all your Christian friends.

That’s the point where the lunacy translates into US foreign policy. Though groups like “Christians United for Israel” ostensibly support the Jewish state, sending it money (there’s a video of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert giving them a shout out) and twisting the arm of the US government to support Israel without reservation (an element of the film’s argument that could be more fleshed out, in my opinion. I’d also suggest a less promiscuous use of archival footage), they really aren’t the Jews’ friends. Not unless they are one of the 144,000 who convert to Christianity. The rest can kiss their asses goodbye (the Millennium has a no Jews allowed policy). What these Christians want from Israel is the start of a war that will engulf everything so their crazy delusions can actually take place. So they can watch the secular world that they hate be obliterated in war, horror and death and they can watch it all from up above like it’s some pious, graphic, bloodthirsty slasher movie or video game.

Anyway, as I said, I thought we could put this aberration behind us with the last election. Apparently not, though the film does not go into much detail about this. Something to discuss with filmmakers after the screening. But overall, a eye-opening look at what 50 million of your fellow Americans believe and are striving to achieve.

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