Friday, November 9, 2007

Born of My Mother Yocheved

--- This post is part of RC's Film+Faith Blog-a-Thon ---

From the moment this thang was called together, I knew what I would do, and obviously so. I mean, it is my #2 favorite film of all time.

THE PRINCE OF EGYPT

The only problem was I didn't know what to do. I thought about doing some kind of long and complicated and great post describing every fasset of my love and it's effects on my thoughts on humanity and religion and life, but then I realized...

I suck at that crap!

So, in quality's stead, I shall reverberate a simple group of lines that inspires me beyond the point of gushing. A songette that means more to me than most things in this world. A lullaby I am proud to recite.

Hush now, my baby, be still and don't cry
Sleep as you're rocked by the stream
Sleep and remember my last lullaby
So I'll be with you when you dream
River o river, flow gently for me
Such precious cargo you bear
Do you know somewhere he can live free?
River, deliver him there...


Not only is her three minutes the most astonishingly beautiful moment in film history, but also the greatest cameo performance by a very wide margin. Nothing can compare to Yocheved. Her misery, her chaos, her faith, her trust, her hope, her maturnity, her love.

I know this is a major cop-out to the blog-a-thon, and I'm not discussing anything relgion-related, but in a way I am. The entire sequence is one giant battalion of faith. The opening shots of the clouds represent a form of God, and of distraction in a way. The entire "Deliver Us" sequence is more obvious; the strife vocalizes the loss of the slaves' hope, lamenting for a god to rescue them, to hold up his end of his own deal. But it hasn't come. And then we drift to the village, the rampant run of soldiers come to kill the Israelite babies, a power struggle that might not have actually existed but a paranoic response nonetheless, and Yocheved trying to spare her child, a child she knows will deliver them from the chains of bondage one day. Her faith in that makes her not fear death. The only thing she fears is for the life of Moses, and losing him. The lullaby, much like everything, is lament, hope, joy, and strife mixed into one. A true bittersweet symphony.

Ofra Haza sang this in 17 of the 21 international versions of the film, including her natural Hebrew. But sadly, on February 22, 2000, she died at the age of 42 of an undisclosed illness. She was one of the greatest voices in the world, and it saddens me to think of her as gone. She's not. She made more than 20 albums, and inspired many people, and will keep doing so. As for me, her legacy lies in Yocheved, and as long as I live I'll never extinguish it. Rest in peace, Ms. Haza.

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4 Comments

At 11/09/2007 9:56 PM , Blogger RC said...

Price of Egypt is your #2 film of all time...that's surprising to me.

what's number 1?

 
At 11/09/2007 10:31 PM , Blogger J.D. said...

The Return of the King, naturally.

 
At 11/11/2007 12:55 AM , Blogger NATHANIEL R said...

I had NO idea that Ofra Haza had died. I used to dance to her music in clubs when I was young and I loved her song in this movie too.

naturally though i waited the whole movie to hear michelle pfeiffer sing 'when you believe' and she only had a verse

 
At 11/23/2007 8:38 AM , Blogger J.D. said...

For what it's worth, she sang it pretty damn well. :)

 

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