Brokeback Mountain


In light of our FANTASTIC discussion tonight at exhale, let me offer these thoughts about Brokeback Mountain et al.

Brokeback Mountain, the 2005 film directed by Academy Award-winner Ang Lee, is based on a short story by E. Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News. Brokeback Mountain was originally published in The New Yorker in 1997 and appeared in Proulx's collection of short stories Close Range: Wyoming Stories. The screenplay was written by Diana Ossana and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry.

This is the story of two young cowboys, Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), who come together while working as sheep herder and camp tender in the mountains of Wyoming in the early 1960s. The two share a secret emotional and physical relationship that continues over two decades while they each marry women and have children.

Hhhhmmmm, interesting yes? Or creepy depending on your perspective. You certainly had lots to say about whether love is a force of nature or not. And the whole; do they love each other because they're gay, or are they gay because they love each other? was lively. There is little doubt that it spawns (no pun intended) deeper discussion around sexuality, love, fate, relationships, intimacy, friendships. Discussion that is needed not on its own merits, but for the potential familial, social and psychological clarity that it can bring. My friend Bart made some interesting comments:

I won’t waste your time here with yet another glowing review of Ang Lee’s period western, which stars Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Mother Nature herself. What I will do, however, is point out that, much like my favorite film of last year, Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, this one makes its points the hard way, through extended dialogue and careful character development.

I will also point this out: While American society as a whole no longer enforces the kind of repression which ultimately undermines this love story and its all-too-human protagonists, the Christian community still does. Those among us who so easily prescribe lifelong celibacy for our gay brothers and sisters, thereby denying them any hope for the nurture and security of marriage, would do well to consider Brokeback Mountain's heartbreaking portrayal of the consequences of such denials.

I often wonder where I would be now had I been forced to choose between pursuing an intimate relationship with a woman and pursuing a spiritual relationship with God. Either way I chose, my love would have gotten a diminished, disintegrated man.

I do agree in a sense, however there seems to be little fury over the reality of two spouses having affairs (straight or gay--whatever), only to highlight the seemingly more important lure of homosexual undertones. Is it a love story or an infidelity story? Go and see the movie and we'll discuss more next week!

1 comment:

  1. I am well aware that this is a sensitive topic and that many christians feel very differently about it. I hope not to offend anyone, but to share my views on Bart's comment:
    "I often wonder where I would be now had I been forced to choose between pursuing an intimate relationship with a woman and pursuing a spiritual relationship with God. Either way I chose, my love would have gotten a diminished, disintegrated man."

    I read this comment as implying that if someone didn't have a spouse/lover, their life could not be complete. I think that this is selling Christ short a little bit. We need to be careful not to place anything above him, and that includes our spouses. Life (I know people personally) and the Bible (Paul, for example) are both proof that one can live as a single, and yet still be happy and fulfilled. In Psalms, David says to God that "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." - Psalm 16:11.
    I fully believe that I can be happy in a life devoted to God with or without a spouse. God knows and wants for us what is best, far beyond what we can attempt to comprehend. Therefore, if He says that homosexuality is sinful, we must believe that the life he has laid out for us, without this, is far better than the life we might have chosen. This principle is the same as any other sin that we all struggle with.

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