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Through the Eyes of the Artist

Art is not religion, at least not for Jewish and Christian believers.
But artists, at their best, often serve the ends of faith -- worship
of the creating and redeeming God. The film The Pianist begs us
to reckon with the relationship between the two. The creativity of
the artist can refract, however dimly, the colors and sounds of a
far greater Creator, the One who lavishes beauty and order upon
chaos. When the powers of hell threaten to crush human dignity, to
scorch away all that is loving and decent among the human community,
the artist -- as long as there is breath and strength -- becomes a
witness to the eternal beauty that can rekindle compassion from the
ashes of death. It was one of the 20th century's greatest artists,
William Faulkner, who said upon his acceptance of the Nobel prize
that "The poet's voice need not merely be the record of [humanity],
it can be one of the props, the pillars to help [humanity] endure
and prevail." Art alone did not and will not prevent a holocaust,
but when the ovens are turned off and the killing ceases, the artist
begins again, in the spirit of God, to mend the brokenhearted remnant
and compose the sights and sounds of a more compassionate world.

--from "Focus on Film:The Pianist"
by Dr. Lee Ramsey

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