A few years ago, I bought a copy of the feature film DVD 'In My Image' by our very own Scot McPhie, a Super 8 film made way back in 2003. When I first watched it, I got rather distracted by technical aspects of the film; I found the story to be very slow and, especially in the sequences of elaborating on religion and justice, rather tedious and repetitive. I also felt that I was being preached at by, shall we say, some kind of anti-imperialist atheist about what justice should be like when applied to an indigenous society.
Shortly after this first viewing, I went through all the DVD extras, but it was only tonight that I gave the film itself a second chance. This time, I was well-prepared to see technical imperfections, a slow-paced story, and I was expecting sequences I would find tedious and repetitive. Lo and behold, it was a very different viewing experience. Shutting out the thought of this being Super 8 and being prepared for the slowly unfolding story worked a real treat. As for the temporary tediousness and repetitiveness, I couldn't even find it (although I was able to identify the scenes I had previously thought of as such). Most importantly, I didn't feel at all preached at. I paid a lot more attention to those passages of dialogue that favoured the so-called Christian justice approach and found them to be quite well-thought through. Altogether, I was left with a film that I considered well-edited, very intelligent, and very complex, in the sense of throwing up a lot of questions and, instead of answering them, challenging the viewer to answer these questions for themselves. Hence I seriously revised my previous judgement on 'In My Image' and can only congratulate Scot on having made such a thought-provoking movie.
Which just goes to show that there's always some merit in giving a film a second chance.
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