Movie Review Extra: “65”– Let the Fiddler on the Roof of This Spaceship Take You Home

65' Trailer: Adam Driver Defends His Life in Space Thriller | IndieWire

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Our family saw a double feature yesterday. On their surfaces, these two movies couldn’t have been more alien from one another, but deep down they were connected by a heart. The theme we saw in their commonality was, “home is where the heart is.”

The first film, which is showing in theaters, is “65.” It’s about our earth 65 million years ago, populated only by dinosaurs—that is, until an “alien” space ship crash lands on it. You see, there are beings already skilled in interplanetary travel at this time, and they look and sound like you and me.

After crashing amidst Earth’s killer dinosaurs, two surviving aliens (an adult male and a little girl) must cooperate with each other to ensure their survival. But the clock is ticking. If they don’t get eaten first, they risk being destroyed WITH the dinosaurs by the incoming doomsday asteroid ultimately responsible for the dinosaur extinction. They must make it back to the mother ship they crashed with and get one of the escape pods working so they can make it back to their home planet.

The trait that makes these two “aliens” so relatable to us earthlings is their constant care for each other. They save each other’s lives throughout the journey we take with them. Without that relationship while on this “Earth,” the world is just another alien planet in another science fiction movie.

The second movie our family saw later at home which, by comparison, makes 65 seem like more than just another science fiction movie, is “Fiddler on the Roof.” This 1972 Academy Award winning film is about a Jewish family steeped in the traditions of their faith. They are among a community of other families, making their homes in a town just outside Tsarist Russia. The parents of this family, Tevye and Golde, have five daughters whom, by tradition, they hope their match-maker will set up with husbands (ensuring nice comfortable futures). Tevye revels in these traditions, but tradition makes this Jewish community stand out like aliens in the eyes of the Tsarists in power.

By the end of the film, these “aliens” are forced to leave their homes and live with distant relatives in other parts of planet Earth. By this point, three of Tevye’s daughters have married men who, one by one, alienate themselves from him by breaking with his homey traditions. One is a tailor whom “Tzeitel” chose for herself (without a match-maker),  one is a freedom fighter “Hodel” vows to support as he battles her people’s oppressors, and one is a Christian whose brave breaking with Tsarist prejudice in order to love her makes Chava fall in love with him.

Bit-by-bit, Tevye lets love conquer his worship of tradition. The film concludes with Tevye, Golde, their three remaining daughters—and all their neighbors—packing up and leaving the town they had all made their home. As these alienated people cross the bridge that had connected them to the rest of the world, they leave behind a ghost town that now looks like the alien and inhospitable planet on which that spaceship crash-landed in 65.

The survivors of both these films send their audiences back home to the point on which Christ built his earthly ministry:

God’s kingdom is not of this alien world, but among families that love God by loving each other.

–Tom Andel

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