‘TIL KINGDOM COME
Reviewed for Shockya.com & BigAppleReviews.net linked from Rotten Tomatoes by: Harvey Karten
Director: Maya Zinlshtein
Writer: Mark Monroe
Cast: Pat Robertson, Paula White Boyd Bingham IV, Yael Eckstein
Screened at: Critics’ link, NYC, 2/3/21
Opens: February 25, 2021
It’s a well-known fact that many Christians believe that Jesus, “Our Savior,” The Messiah, will return to earth: the Second Coming, as they call it. Less known is that many Orthodox Jews also that a savior is coming as well, but they would call the event the First Coming. “We want Mossiach Now!” is the rallying cry. Christians and Jews both look forward to the event, or events, because they believe the savior will do just what saviors are meant to do: usher in a world of peace. Orthodox Jews do not see something tragic occurring before the event of the Mossiach. Evangelical Christians see the return of the Messiah will come only after Armageddon, the end of the world, ushering in the Rapture: the rise of heaven of all who accept Jesus as Lord. As for what will happen to people who do not accept Jesus as savior, there is some controversy. Some think Jews in particular who do not convert to Christianity will suffer “tribulation.” Whether that means an eternity in hell or something less pleasant is…who knows? Hey: I went to college and even I don’t know. Why should anyone else?
Then there are those who say that both sides are cuckoo. Don’t look at me: I’m only the messenger. Segue into “’Till Kingdom Come,” a documentary praising the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which has donated over a billion dollars to Israel, given that Christians think that the Return and the Rapture will come only when Israeli Jews have a homeland. There is already a Jewish homeland in Israel, but the Messiah, or the Mossiach, maybe both, are patient. Stay tuned.
If you are Jewish, the chances are that if you know you are Jewish, you will be pro-Israel. That does not necessarily mean supporting every policy of the present government under Bibi Netanyahu or the past governments beginning with David Ben-Gurion. But Israel is likely to be in your heart even as you are a patriotic American or Brit or French or whatever. If that’s the case, then you’ll be ever so excited to see Evangelical Christians (25% of Americans, or so they say) and Jews (2% of our country’s folks), come together, all lovey-dovey. Some say (maybe I, maybe not) that Trump showed his pro-Israel stance by being the first President to move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That is among the policies that got Trump the votes of some 80% of Evangelical Christians. Could it be that Trump is not really excited about Israel even though his daughter is an Orthodox Jew? Something to think about.
The current Israeli government under Bibi loves Trump, the most pro-Israel President of the U.S. ever. They love the contributions coming in from Evangelical Christians by the millions. They welcome the tens of thousands of Christians who visit Israel annually, getting bussed around, looking at holy sites such as the location of Jesus’ birth and of the crucifixion, and maybe even sending written prayers at the Western Wall. Back to the movie: a pastor in Kentucky from a town that once provided jobs in the mines preaches to poverty-stricken people. No matter how poor they are, many contribute specifically to a foreign country, meaning that they are spiritually uplifted as the pastor tells them they would be. When pastors are not preaching, Sondra Oster Baraz, founder of Christian Friends of Israeli Communities and a settler in Israel’s West Bank, speaks her love of the Evangelical Christians; never mind that the latter appear to overlook the fact that the Jewish settlers are living on Arab land.
The big question, though, is virtually ignored by the movie. What’s not to love about these Christians? For one thing, two thousand years of persecution of Jews may not be erased so easily. Many still accuse Jews of crucifying Jesus, not just then, but now; even if you’ve lived in Brooklyn and never went to the Holy Land. Since 80% of Evangelicals voted for Trump, maybe Trump’s (hypocritical) anti reproductive rights stance swayed them, but still, huge numbers appear to believe every one of the ex-president’s 20,000 to 30,000 lies. Call it an irony, a paradox, or something else: pro-Israel but anti-Semitic? What do they think will happen when the Rapture comes? Bluntly: the reason Israel and Jews are so important and deserving of support is because of the belief that Christians won’t get raptured in the end times unless Jews and Israel fulfill their part of the prophecy including being slaughtered into becoming Christians.
Still ‘n’ all, you can’t win ‘em all: take what you can get. And did I mention that some believe that both sides are cuckoo?
76 minutes. © 2021 by Harvey Karten, Member, New York Film Critics Online
Story – B
Acting – B
Technical – B
Overall – B