This film, without hesitation, can be called remarkable. There are three primary reasons for this:
1). Of the highest value is the director's effort to ennoble the children on "the other side of the tracks" and to point their aspirations in a spiritual direction. How often have we seen films about the minority poor, where all their strivings were reduced to better education, social improvements and the obligatory nod towards "spirituality" in the form of conventional religion? It is, therefore, amazing to see these children treated as spiritual beings first and African-Americans only second. This is achieved by introducing "eternal" themes into some of their everyday conversations. Now, as a rule, the subjects of salvation, redemption and "how God had organized the world" do not come up with the children of the ghetto any more than they do with the children of the middle class or the wealthy due to the general spiritual decline of the population as a whole. So in this the director's guiding hand is clearly seen as it sets a very specific spiritual direction for his characters' development. This is not only praiseworthy, but in actuality is every director's responsibility.
The much-beloved argument that a filmmaker must simply show the reality "as it is" appears ludicrous in the light of Knowledge of the Eternal Laws disclosed in the book "IN THE LIGHT OF TRUTH: THE GRAIL MESSAGE" by Abd-ru-shin. Even a cursory familiarity with these Laws would reveal that those who subscribe to showing reality "as is" engage in concocting the grossest kind of non-reality (non-existing reality) by artificially separating the spiritual essence of human beings from their material forms. That this has been going on now for decades in cinema and for hundreds of years in other art forms does not serve as any justification and does not change the simple fact that only the art which deals with man's spirituality is real. Many an artist, upon crossing over the threshold of death, will be surprised to learn that he is judged not on the extent of his talent, but on the extent to which he strove to help his fellow-men recognize their spiritual essence. The means he may choose to achieve this are left entirely up to him (and they need not coincide with the philosophy of "positive thinking"), but the resultant effect of his work must be the turning of the viewer's gaze towards the spiritual. Thus, showing life in povery "just as it is" is of no real value, unless a much higher spiritual direction is set. And "George Washington" may be the first film about life of the poor that actually does that.
2). The second primary reason for regarding this film as exceptional is its commitment to cinema as an artistic medium. Every scene, and almost every shot, is artistically composed - and that is something to applaud, given today's artistically degenerate cinematic climate. At times, to be sure, there is a slight element of artifice in some of the artistic gestures: like putting a godzilla mask on a dead boy, or George walking around in a kind of "superman" outfit. But one really doesn't feel like quibbling about these points. It was a masterstroke to give most of the dialogue dealing with higher, more elevated themes to the children rather than to the grown-ups. Since the children are not yet so deeply buried in material concerns, they are more in touch with their human essence and, as a result, are able to remain much more genuine than the adults speaking the same lines.
3). In the end, it is the way, in which the film illustrates a real need on the part of its main character to atone for his wrong action - even if no one else ever finds out about it and even if it was an accident - that makes this film exceptional and genuinely significant. The showing of the process of how human conscience works (or rather how it is supposed to work, since the most prevalent philosophy today regards conscience as a "hang-up") - this is the film's greatest gift to its audience. It is a strong reminder to every one of us that our conscience is a reality to be dealt with and not a mere concept to overcome or rise above. All of us have done something in our lives, the remembrance of which bothers us occasionally. It would be a grave mistake to go on brushing it aside or (worse!) justifying it. For, as George's uncle confesses: what he is most afraid of is God's Judgement. The reality of this Judgement is also put into question by today's humanity, which nevertheless does not prevent this stupendous process from unfolding right before our very eyes. For anyone still interested in learning about the total naturalness of this ongoing process (having nothing to do with any religious dogma) the way is wide open to the Knowledge in the book of Abd-ru-shin "IN THE LIGHT OF TRUTH: THE GRAIL MESSAGE".
Copyright 2002 by Gregory and Maria Pearse