An Insider’s Pearl Diver

by Julia Spicher Kasdorf

While Janzen offers us an ars moriendi, Julia Spicher Kasdorf finds an ars poetica for Mennonite writers in her analysis of Sidney King’s prize-winning film, The Pearl Diver. She finds that the film raises the question of the relationship between suffering and the artist-writer’s responsibility to individuals and the community in representing suffering for a public audience. It uses the Dirk Willems story from Martyrs Mirror to explore the central ambiguity of “whether sacrifice and separation can ultimately undo the Christian imperative to love and choose life.”

Comments for An Insider’s Pearl Diver

  • Ann Hostetler

    On September 17, 2009 Ann Hostetler wrote:

    It's fascinating how the completely selfless and giving martyr "mother" of Pearl Diver stands in direct contrast to the "selfish" and harridan portrait of Mrs. Hostetler in the Hostetler massacre story, as discussed in Kirsten's essay. Apparently there's room for both. What prevents us from seeing Mrs. Hostetler as a martyr?

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  • j. Daniel Hess

    On September 25, 2009 j. Daniel Hess wrote:

    While teaching film studies at Goshen College, I came upon a discovery: I found as much delight in film criticism as I did in the films themselves. Of course, it takes a good film to instigate quality criticism, but at the same time the genre of criticism became in my thinking a house set on its own foundations. Thanks Julia for an essay that confirms my hunch.

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