Charlie covers Buddhism in this lecture, and it is the world’s fourth largest religion … and long story short, it’s a very odd religion indeed.
Buddhism is also extremely complex, involving all sorts of paths and obstacles one must travel and overcome in order to essentially become nothing, when everything is said and done. Why anyone would want to bother with such a weird religion is beyond me, but Charlie does a very good job (as usual) explaining all the odd intricacies that permeate throughout this mysticism heavy belief system.
I don’t have anything bad to say about this film, and I think it helps give a very thorough — yet approachable — insight into what believers of this faith think, and how one might go about trying to talk to them.
I’m gonna admit it finally — when it comes to an on-screen portrayal of Jesus Christ — which is no small thing to attempt to do for ANY actor (I feel like it’s a role that needs to be done with sincere love and respect in one’s heart, for their creator — more than any other role), Bruce Marchiano is hands-down the best at doing it.
The Encounter and its sequel, The Encounter: Paradise Lost, shows strangers coming together for a short window of time and then Jesus appearing to them — in an effort to give them once last chance to get their lives straightened out — before they die.
I’m unsure if this type of story has been done before in play form, because it seems like something that would be great for such a thing. In the first movie, the strangers are in an old diner during a stormy night that closes down a nearby road they all are traveling on. The second film is set in a hotel in Thailand during a tropical storm, but the people don’t leave this time due to being held hostage by drug dealers.
The films don’t waste time in showing who Jesus is to the strangers. In both He just comes out and admits it straightaway, and after He begins to tell each of them their pasts in vivid detail, they start to listen. They don’t all believe, but He definitely has all of their attention. The second one spends more time in the setup before Jesus enters into the plot, but it’s needed. Personally, I think the sequel was better than the original overall.
These heartwarming and well-made films act as both a story of hope for even the most wicked of people and one of caution to those who refuse to listen. These aren’t films where everyone has a happy ending. It also needs to be said that Bruce’s emotionally convincing portrayal of a loving and concerned Christ is amazing to watch, and you really get the impression the actor loves trying to accurately show how loving, thoughtful and well-spoken Jesus would be, if these situations were indeed true.
These are both excellent films, and you should definitely check them out.