God on Trial

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You know that story wherein a group of rabbis in a concentration camp assembles a beit din — a team of judges — and puts God on trial for allowing this to happen.

Like rock & roll, India, and the Middle East, the British have appropriated a cultural minority’s brilliant idea and turned it into something…well, new. God on Trial is a 90-minute dramatisation of that story, made by the BBC, and written by Frank Cottrell Boyce (who wrote the screenplay to the excellent Millions.) The film flips back and forth between Holocaust-era Auschwitz and a contemporary tour of the place, with scene cuts that are alternately incredibly gripping and rather clumsy (“It’s interesting you should ask that…”). The film itself is quite chilling, however. The description doesn’t say it all, but it says a lot:

Drama. In a block house in Auschwitz, a group of prisoners demand to know the nature of a God who can allow so much suffering. They attempt to settle their dispute by putting God on trial. Knowing half of them will be sent to the gas chamber, they have only one day to reach a verdict.

Here’s the actual show, which you can only watch from a computer inside the UK, and here is part 1 of the actual programme, brought to you by the kindly pirates of YouTube.

HT: Mr. Bruce

Posted on September 8, 2008

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