ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, September 26   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 

 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 

POLL
Faith and political views
In my church...




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



José de Segovia
 

The lost son

Stories about lost children explore our greatest fears. The big TV revelation this summer was an impressive Argentinean series produced by HBO called The Bronze Garden.

BETWEEN THE LINES AUTHOR José de Segovia 22 NOVEMBER 2017 11:11 h GMT+1
The great surprise of HBO in Argentina, The Bronze Garden.

The nightmare of every father is to lose a child. Stories about lost children explore our greatest fears. The big TV revelation this summer was an impressive Argentinean series produced by the Latin American branch of HBO called “El Jardín de Bronce” (The Bronze Garden).



It has received very little publicity but this is the adaptation by the author Gustavo Malajovich of his first novel, which shows us Buenos Aires in all its glory.



Umberto Eco once said that crime fiction was “the most metaphysical and philosophical of the models of intrigue”. Its essence is even somewhat theological. The author of “The Name of the Rose” considered that even the demonstration of God’s existence by Thomas Aquinas was a masterpiece of police investigation.



 



Stories about lost children explore our greatest fears.



Thrillers ask the question “Whodunit?”, which is a question also raised by philosophy and theology.



At first, such stories looked at the who and the how, and perhaps the why. They did the chase and sought out the perfect criminal. The detective turned up on the scene and the plot followed the usual suspects. Now the focus has turned to the personal life of the investigator. The occasional enigma is just an excuse to get to know the character better.



 



THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN



This sub-genre, stories of disappearances, has become a common topic in many series, books and films. In this case, it is the story of a lost child. Following the initial, brutal drama of the disappearance, there follows a series of complications that draw the main characters into a turbulent emotional state, mixed up in the agony and the terror of their loss.



It does not however take us long to realise that there are deeper anxieties at work. One of our fears is not being able to protect our loved ones, when we feel defenceless and ignorant of the dangers surrounding us. In some stories, the family is a model of the society that surrounds it. Above all these are stories about the fear of the unknown and the danger that it entails.



 



It does not however take us long to realise that there are deeper anxieties at work.



Another common feature of this type of fiction is that the main couple finds itself in a crisis situation. The couple is disintegrating. And as the action unfolds, time also becomes a fundamental element, due to the way in which our perspective on life changes.



Pain suddenly resurfaces, or reveals other losses in the characters’ lives. Compulsive behaviour such as returning to the scene of the crime again and again, metaphorically or literally. The main character refuses to abandon the investigation and tries to find some form of justice or reparation.



 



MYSTERIOUS BUENOS AIRES



Moira is a little four-year old girl who mysteriously disappears in the centre of Buenos Aires, together with her Peruvian nanny, as she is going to her friend’s birthday party, leaving her parents in despair. The police cannot find her, ushering in a peculiar private detective called Doberti, who offers to help them, in exchange for a reward. That is how the story of “The Bronze Garden” begins, after which we jump from one surprise turn to another.



We see the story from the perspective of the father, Fabián – an architect like the script writer and author of the novel –, who feels vulnerable and disorientated. Contrary to many of the series that are out now, this is a linear story, where we don’t have to follow the parallel story lines of a multitude of characters. This is closer to the traditional cinematographic model, which reminds me at times of the splendid Oscar-winning Argentinean film, “El secreto de tus ojos” (2010), although Joaquín Furriel is of course no Ricardo Darín!



 



complications that draw the main characters into a turbulent emotional state, mixed up in the agony and the terror of their loss.



Another point of attraction is the mysterious, dark and perturbing turn given to Buenos Aires, which takes on character-like status in the story, rather than just providing the backdrop. This is where the troubled couple live. Their relationship is not good. At one point she says that she isn’t “at the bottom of the well”, she “is the well”. The actress playing her mother, is the great dame of Argentinean theatre, Norma Aleandro. In her opinion, the shattering impact of this story is caused by fear, “the fear of the characters, and one’s own fear on seeing where the story is going…”.



You would think that stories about lost children are nothing new, but as in the case of “The Bronze Garden”, they sometimes have an unexpected twist. The key lies in its leading characters. By showing us the relationship between solitary pain, loss and the secrets that we all keep, the series opens the door to deep reflection about the things that are irreparable in life and incurable in love.



 



DON’T LOOK NOW  



One of my favourite books by the brilliant author Daphne du Maurier (1907 – 1989) – author of the novels that inspired Hitchcock’s “Rebecca” and “The Birds” – is “Don’t Look Now”, made into a film by Nicholas Roeg in 1973 and known as “Venecia rojo shocking” (Venice Red Shocking) in Argentina. It is the story of an unhappy couple that, on losing their third daughter, moves to a wintry Venice, where Donald Sutherland and the beautiful Julie Christie meet a ghost more terrifying than the spectre of their daughter.



Before that, a book that has inspired many of the great detective films is “The Searchers” by Alan Le May. Based real events in the Old West, John Ford takes to the screen the original story about an uncle (John Wayne) who looks for his lost niece. Kidnapped by the Comanche Indians, this American Civil War and Mexican Revolution veteran has to face up to his own ghosts in a conflict that inspired the character of Travis in Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” (1997) – the Vietnam war veteran played by Robert De Niro, who decides to redeem an adolescent prostitute played by Jodie Foster.  



 



We fear we will not be able to protect our beloved ones.



The screen writer of “Taxi Driver”, Paul Schrader, was a theology student like Scorsese who, obsessed by this story, returned to his place of birth, Grand Rapids, to portray a father character played by George Scott, who is similar his own father. This old man from a reformed church loses track of his daughter when she travels to a meeting of young Christians. His search in “Hardcore” (1979) introduces us to the world of pornography as the backdrop of a quest for redemption of someone who does not want to be saved.   



Another director of the 1970s obsessed by “The Searchers” is Steven Spielberg. He saw it a dozen times while he was filming “Close encounters of the third kind” (1977). His stories about lost children fill his filmography in a world of orphans that reflects the divorce generation, which he himself experienced. This is the context of stories such as “Stranger Things”, where the divorced mother played by Winona Ryder seeks, like Spielberg’s characters, an answer about the disappearance of her son in a supernatural world.



 



THE LOVE OF THE FATHER



Stories like these show us that there is no greater love than that of a father dealing with the loss of a child.



When Jesus teaches us to address God as Father (Matthew 6:9) he shows us the enormous privilege of all those who receive him. By believing in Him, we “become children of God” (John 1:12). His love is faithful, as only the Father’s can be, even when His Son was subjected to the greatest humiliations.



God finds us when we are lost. By becoming Man he identified himself with our weakness (Hebrews 4:15-16). His broken heart shows us an unconditional love that frees us from hypocrisy (Matthew 6:1-4), but also from anxiety (Matthew 7:25-34). We have a heavenly father who cares for us.



 



Stories about children that disappear are frequently linked to unstable couples.



Discovering the love of God as our Father frees us of fear, mistrust and suspicion of feeling abandoned. Through faith, we are children of God, not simple slaves. We must live as such, not enslaved by fear, but in the freedom of the Son (Galatians 4:4–7). We cannot win his love, because there is nothing that we can do that can make him love us more or less than he has already loved us in Jesus Christ.



The Father endured the loss of His Son so that by trusting him we can be saved. Those who believe in Him will never be lost. We are sure of his love. A son is a son, whether he makes us feel ashamed. And if you are still unsure, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1–2). If you do not believe this, one day you will see it!  


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - - The lost son
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
VIDEO Video
 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.