Archive for drama

God On Trial

Posted in Television with tags , , , , , , , , , on 4 September, 2008 by Ally

Last night BBC2 screened God on Trial, a new TV play by Frank Cottrell Boyce. It is the story of a group of Auschwitz prisoners who hold a rabbinical court to accuse God of breaking the covenant and abandoning the Jewish people. It could easily have been sensationalist, but in the hands of Boyce the arguments for both sides were compelling, and I never felt like I was being manipulated as a viewer. The beauty is that although the court does make a decision, the real conclusion is the personal reaction of the viewers.

In a barrack in Auschwitz concentration camp, the prisoners are called for a medical inspection. They do not know the criteria by which they will be judged, but those that fail the inspection will be killed to make room for new arrivals. However, the new arrivals are a day early thanks to the increased efficiency of the German railway system. Those waiting to die are faced by the people that will sleep in their beds the next night. Under these horrific circumstances, one man suggests they prosecute God for the abandonment of the Jewish people. Three judges are chosen, all rabbis, and the cases for both sides are presented. Continue reading