Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Almost Holy

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Almost Holy

Article excerpt

Almost Holy is a documentary about the work of Pastor Gennadiy Mockhnenko of Mariupol, Ukraine. He is called Crocodile Gennadiy because of a famous Soviet cartoon that features a crocodile that, like Mockhnenko, tries to help people.

Crocodile Gennadiy's project is to "rescue" children from the streets of Mariupol, children addicted to drugs. He has established the Pilgrim Republic, a rehabilitation center where he brings the children in an effort to help them escape the influences that perpetuate their drug use. In the larger scheme of things Gennadiy's efforts are a drop in the bucket, but for those children he reaches he has a life transforming effect.

All of this seems to be holy work, but the movie is called Almost Holy, because Gennadiy's "rescue" of the children might be considered kidnapping. Mariupol is in many ways a lawless city that fails to provide services for young people caught up in the world of drugs. Under these conditions, something has to be done by people outside of the official system, like Gennadiy, and this means going beyond what would be required, or permitted, in a civil society. Since many of the children do not want to be taken to the Pilgrim Republic, Gennadiy is forced to operate outside of the law. The question posed by the film is whether it is morally permissible to abduct young people in order to help them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.