Relapse, Redemption, & Victory
Continuing the theme of “300: Rise of an Empire” I found another subtheme in this movie. Although not really impressed with the movie as a whole and how Hollywood has distorted history and also added a completely fabricated and unnecessary sexual scene to this movie, I thought it had some deeper recovery-related gems. For those that don’t know much about this movie (and I don’t expect those early in their recovery to watch the entire movie) here is a summary from Wikipedia:
Based on Frank Miller’s latest graphic novel Xerxes, and told in the breathtaking visual style of the blockbuster “300,” this new chapter of the epic saga takes the action to a fresh battlefield-on the sea-as Greek general Themistocles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge that will change the course of the war. This film pits Themistocles against the massive invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes, and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.
Nevertheless, in watching this movie, I did pick up on the recovery-related themes. Maybe it was me trying to find some sort of redemptive quality in a poorly made movie, or maybe it was the Holy Spirit saying to me, “use this material, men will ‘listen’ when you speak to them through these films.” I don’t know which one it was, but I’m hoping it was the latter. The second subtheme I saw in this movie is that of a man falling into unhealthy behaviors, admitting his mess, being redeemed as he reenters recovery, and having victory over his addiction (at least for one day). In 300: Rise of an Empire, the leader of the Greek forces, Themistocles, falls into sexual sin with the Persian Naval Commander, Artemisia. He lies about his personal life in order to continue with the acting out (as I did in my former life) and then suffers the consequences of his sexually immoral actions by angering Artemisia and having most of his men killed in battle. Nevertheless, Themistocles admits that he messed up, rallies his troops for one final battle, and “re-enters recovery” by fighting against the “addiction” (portrayed by Artemisia) once again. This movie should be a good reminder to those in recovery that no matter how bad you have messed up, that God can redeem you, but you need to practice rigorous honesty, risking everything, to re-enter recovery. If you slip or relapse, it is important that you are honest about this and not keep it secret. Secrets are what make the addiction thrive, confession is the only way through.