They Belong to the Ocean

Recently, I watched a documentary called, “Blackfish” on Netflix. It is called Blackfish because the people of the First Nations called orcas that. They believed orcas are spiritual creatures. Orcas are such beautiful and majestic animals! It is such a shame that we human beings take them away from their families and keep them in tiny concrete pools for our own entertainment. 

This documentary is about the orca named Tilikum. He was taken away from his mother when he was just 2 years old. He was sent to SeaWorld, forced to learn tricks to entertain crowds. When he failed to learn a trick, he would be refused food, and his partners would also be denied food. They would get frustrated with him, ganged up on him and raked him. For animals this size, these orcas were locked up in a pool of 20 feet wide and 30 feet deep at night. What an inhuman thing to do! 

The theme park brought in different orcas from various waterparks to try to simulate the community living of whales but these whales came from different backgrounds. They had different culture subsets, different genes, different languages. Hyper-aggressions often happened. It was reported that there were more orcas dying in captivity due to aggressions than in the wild. 

After watching this documentary, I feel strongly that orcas belong to the ocean. They shouldn’t be kept in tanks as a means for profits or entertainment. Taking them away from their natural habitats and families damage them psychologically and emotionally. It also put the animal trainers at risks. This documentary is a must watch, especially if you love wild animals. It will further provoke what we should do to keep wild animals safe. God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, has given human being dominion over all creatures, and this is not an excuse to exploit them for our own gain. 

The documentary, ‘Blackfish’

My responses on Dr Strange’s Multi-verse

Dr Strange is one of Marvel’s superheroes. In the past decade, Marvel has been rolling out movies for its Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The first installment of Dr Strange was a part of Phase Three of the MCU.    

In the first movie, we join Dr Strange as he went through a series of crises. He was a skillful neurosurgeon. One eventful night, he got into a terrible car crash that disabled his 2 hands. Desperate to recover completely from the injury, he went to Nepal to seek for healing. It was during this trip that he met a group of sorcerers and was guided by the Ancient One to master spells and magic. He slowly regained his health and received his calling to be a sorcerer.  

I enjoyed the first movie. It was refreshing and the CGI was spectacular. The second movie explores traveling in “multiverse” (the existence of dozens of other universes). A character named America Chavez had the superpower to travel across these universes was introduced. She claimed there were other Dr Stranges in the multiverse. To prove her point, she showed Strange the corpse of another Strange from another universe.

This movie picks up from Disney Plus’ WandaVision whereby Wanda used dark magic to bring her deceased husband back to life. Wanda also used this dark magic to create a pair of twin boys: Billy and Tommy. This family of four was in a magical world; they do not exist in the real world. Wanda got obsessed with being with her family in this magical world that she would do whatever it takes to have her family with herm including harming others by using dark magic. Wanda knew America Chavez possessed the power to travel multiverse, and she would chase her through multiple universes to steal the power for herself. That was the only way she could be with her made-belief family.

Throughout this movie, Dr Strange and his companion, Wong, protected America from Wanda. There were entertaining scenes especially when Dr Strange traveled in different universes and how they had different rules compared to living on Earth.    

However, I was taken aback by how dark the movie was. This movie is rated PG-13 but it was filled with magic spells and sorcery and violent scenes of killing and jump scare scenes. You might not enjoy this movie if these are the things that you find disturbing. I saw little children in the cinema. I wonder if they got scared.

What does the Bible say about Multi-verses?

One of the major themes of this movie is the multi-verses. Every person in the universe has alter egos that exist in other universes, and it could be a few of them. The alter egos appear in your dreams. Marvel seems to be going with this direction with its latest movies. In 2018, there was “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse” whereby there were different Peter Parkers, Spider-men and Spider-women all exist concurrently from different Spider-universes coming together to beat the bad guys. Multi-verses are a common themes in entertainment: movies, books and video games.  

Are there multiple universes? The number of universes wasn’t mentioned in the Bible. But the Bible tells us is that God created the Heavens and the Earth (Genesis 1:1). And God said it was good (Gen 1:25b). Everything God has created was good and pleasing in His sight. The universe was made so wonderfully by God. There are always new discoveries that we human beings noticed about the universe and our world every day, because this is how vast and great our universe is! Our simple human minds can not grasp the depth of God’s love and creativity!

One thing I know from the Bible is that there is only me in the universe. And I was created with much thought and love by God my creator.      

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:13-16)

Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” (Isaiah 64:8)

He loves us with an unconditional love. He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for us (John 3:16) so that we will not perish in sin and death. For us who believe, we will be with Him in His Kingdom someday.

Even if there are multiple universes, I know there is one of me that is wonderfully made by God and deeply loved by Him.

Loneliness and temptations

Another theme of this movie is about loneliness and the temptations in order to overcome it. In one of the opening scenes of the movie, Dr Strange was attending the wedding of his former love. Throughout the movie, as he traveled to multi universes, he would search for the other Christines, wanting to see if they had any success in other universes. 

As for Wanda, after losing her husband (who was sacrificed in Avengers: Infinity War, in their fight against Thanos), she was consumed with pain and loneliness. She succumbed to using dark magic to create a family of her own.

Both characters were lonely but they responded differently. Dr Strange was tempted to use dark spells so that he could have Christine in his life again. But he overcame this temptation.

Being lonely is a real issue that we all face from time to time. In times of loneliness, we will feel weak and it is easy to fall into temptations. Men and women of God are not exempted from loneliness. Prophet Elijah was lonely and depressed. Moses was lonely as he led the millions of Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land.  

Praise the Lord that Jesus Christ understands when we are lonely. He had gone through it Himself. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus Christ came into this world and into our lives to destroy loneliness. We are not truly alone because He is with us. 

What comfort is God’s Word to us: “See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands” (Isaiah 49:16).

Horror elements

When my friend told me he had watched it and it was a scary movie, I doubted him. How could a Disney-Marvel be scary?

It really was! There were some scenes that were terrifying, for example: (1) half of Wanda’s face was covered in dried blood, (2) Dr Strange possesses a rotting corpse with half of its face rotted off, (3) demons were screaming and flying around when Dr Strange was performing his sorcery, (4) people with demonic eyes, (5) rituals of casting spells and the chanting of spells, (6) gore and violent killing scenes.   

I am a Marvel fan but was surprised it is heading to this dark path. If you are planning to watch it, I suggest not to watch it with young children because some scenes are scary and violent. The acting by the cast was superb (especially Wanda, played by Elizabeth Olsen), though the script/storyline was just ok. Basing on entertainment value, I will give it a 2.5 out of 5.