Yesterday I reviewed the ‘Tomato’ (Nooma 22) – one of the somewhat variable Nooma videos with Rob Bell . Today it’s the turn of ‘Corner’ (Nooma 23) – another one in the series which I am very happy to recommend.
In Corner Rob Bell stands against the bright colour spectrum of cloth in a fabric shop. He talks of his delight in an old chair he was given when he was young. He talks about the delight he and his wife experienced when they could only afford to eat out once a month. In times of scarcity, you feel an overwhelming gratitude for the things you are given to enjoy. Our plenty makes us immune to this joy. ‘Success can be dangerous.’
Bell then cuts to a discussion of gleaning. It all seems so unfair – that others harvest that for which you have worked. But the command to glean is given because the people were once slaves in Egypt. In other words, God is saying that one day his people will be prosperous and the danger is that they will forget what God has done for them. So the command to glean is more of a warning not to loose your appreciation for the grace you have received. ‘When we empower others, when we extend grace to others in their oppression – whatever that may look like – we find out about the grace that God has extended to us.’ If we don’t find some suffering and do something about it then it may be that we become miserable. Our success will turn on us.
The visuals show various people cutting a piece of cloth from a curtain, their clothes, a bag – all leaving a hole. We then see those squares of fabric cut into heart shapes and sown on to a white dress which is parcelled up and given to a poor girl. At the end of the movie she dances out into the sunshine in her new dress. It’s a surprisingly moving finale.
Corner is a good application of gleaning and a powerful reflection on the imperatives of grace. It would be a great movie to watch with any affluent group of people.