Last week, I picked the "Bee Movie," so this week my fiance picked "American Gangster." It looked like a good story, although probably filled with unnecessary sex and violence. I was pleasantly surprised. Oh, it's violent and has its share of nudity, but it wasn't gratuitous.
What stuck with me more was the strange paradox of faith and life. The movie - set in the late '60s and early '70s - is a classic good cop chasing bad guy kind of deal. The cop has a completely dysfunctional personal life. He's in and out of court battling custody of his son while sleeping with his lawyer. But he's lauded as one of the only honest cops in North Jersey.
On the other hand is Frank Lucas, one of Harlem's most notorious drug lords. He managed to connect with a heroin producer in Southeast Asia, and through military connections smuggled the drugs back to the states. Without the middleman, he could sell better quality stuff for cheaper. He was unashamed about the lives that were destroyed because of his "business." But he still took his mama to church every Sunday. His family appeared healthy and whole. And there was a brilliant scene where his family's festive holiday dinner is interspersed with images of a young woman overdosing on his brand of heroin.
It's an different take on hypocrisy and the contradictions that infuse our own lives. If y'all have seen the movie share your thoughts...