WORLDS APART —
A TRUE-TO-LIFE MOVIE
(Investigator 138, 2011
breasts? Did you kiss? Where else did he touch
you have sex?
interrogated by three male elders with questions like these would feel
intimidated and humiliated. Yet it happens in the Jehovah's Witness
interrogation is a
scene in the 1½-hour Danish movie Worlds Apart (released
which aired on Australian television on March 28, 2011.
story, which is
on real-life people, centers on JW schoolgirl Sara (played by Rosalinde
Mynster) whose worldview based on faith crumbles when she falls in love
with 23-year-old Teis, an unbeliever.
tells him she
celebrate birthdays or Christmas and that everyone except JWs will die
at Armageddon. Angrily Teis points at individuals around them in the
shop including a baby in a pram and loudly asks whether these will die
Jonas, has been expelled from the sect, attends University, and is
shunned by his own family who won't talk to him.
adultery, resigns his eldership, but can remain a JW because he
admitted his sin. The wife can't forgive him, however, and moves out of
the family house. She later admits she does not believe in the faith
but stayed because: "I was afraid of being expelled."
Elisabeth (a year or two younger) is a staunch JW, and their younger
brother August, aged about 8 is well indoctrinated.
JW movie — in the scene where the three elders question Sara on sex
they show nothing but concern and are merely doing what their religion
requires. The movie portrays JWs with dignity and none of the elders
are presented as hypocrites.
dialogue (in the English subtitles) throughout the movie is spot on.
The only exceptions are minor:
Sara hopes to
Teis and he attends at the Kingdom Hall and at a convention. It's
unclear whether a genuine convention was filmed or whether about 1000
extras were recruited to represent a JW audience — although normally
convention audiences have chairs and don't sit on the grass which part
of the audience does in the
- Instead of
JWs would say "convention" or "assembly";
- Rather than
expelling someone for "criticizing the elders", he'd
be expelled for "criticizing the organization" or "criticizing
both the terms "disfellowshipped" and "expelled"
the former is more common but is not used in the movie.
invites Sara to
his parents, and his mother immediately goes on the attack: "You preach
the end of the world with dates grabbed out of thin air."
interrogation Sara repents of her physical intimacy with Teis. At the
convention an elder announces her decision to leave school and become a
"fulltime pioneer". Her father later tells her "Everyone at the rally
was so proud of you" and praises her skill at talking with householders.
seems to be converting but decides he doesn't believe the teachings, at
which stage he and Sara break up.
resumes and Sara moves in with Teis but tells everyone she's living
with her mother. Teis and Sara share one bed but keep another bed
prepared so they can pretend to have separate rooms if anyone inquires
— "I'm not the first one to do this."
observes "You don't attend meetings or go witnessing" and discovers the
the elders confront Teis and Sara and declare: "Whoever chooses lust
over Jehovah chooses eternal death."
At the Kingdom Hall the elder
announces: "Sara is no longer a Jehovah's Witness."
friends and relatives so that she'll "hurt", repent and return.
father tells her, "I can't see you any more…" Her girlfriend Thea, a
JW, turns her back and walks away without greeting or reply. Elisabeth
too won't talk to her. Younger brother August hides from Sara and when
found says, "You'll die in Armageddon." Sara replies: "They've been
lying to us; it won't happen."
Sara can now
talk with her expelled older brother, Jonas. But he now decides to
return to JWs because it's "too hard" to be "on the outside."
up everything to be with Teis and "It won't work" and so she separates
will she go
back to JWs?
Thea has an accident, rejects blood, and dies. The elder announces in
the Kingdom Hall: "Thea never deviated from her decision not to have
blood… What good is it to save one's life here and lose eternal life?"
doubt. She tells her father "Goodbye dad" and leaves home. On the train
we hear her thoughts: "God Jehovah, this is the last time I'll talk to
you. I don't believe in you any more."
train at the end of the movie another girl
smiles at Sara; apparently she is
Tabita Broener, the real-life former
JW on whom the Sara character is based.]
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