Filmmaker John Egan created this film in response to passages from Joshua 1:1, 3-6, 9-18; 3:5, 11-12; 4.2.
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1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying,
3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. 4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. 5 There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. 6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
10 ¶ Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people, saying, 11 Pass through the host, and command the people, saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God giveth you to possess it.
12 ¶ And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying, 13 Remember the word which Moses the servant of the LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and hath given you this land. 14 Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour, and help them; 15 Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as he hath given you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’s servant gave you on this side Jordan toward the sunrising.
16 ¶ And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will go. 17 According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things, so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as he was with Moses. 18 Whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good courage.
5 And Joshua said unto the people, Sanctify yourselves: for to morrow the LORD will do wonders among you.
11 Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. 12 Now therefore take you twelve men out of the tribes of Israel, out of every tribe a man.
2 Take you twelve men out of the people, out of every tribe a man,
In reading Joshua (the book of war) I began to hear three distinct voices arise from the verses: one of a militant, one of a father, and one of a son. Initially I wanted to write three monologues for these characters, adapting the verses that I felt spoke for/to each of these characters. What evolved were three scenes, led by each of these characters. The result was a sort of triptych film, that (I hope) deals with the cycles of war through family generations and unpacking what it truly means to be “strong and courageous.”
What does it mean to be spoken to by God? Does that give us authority over others? Are so we naive to think that war will save us, even if we have “goodness” on our side? After we’ve destroyed our enemies, where does that leave our young men who fought?
A Minnesota native, John Egan has been a performing artist in NYC for the past 14 years. John is grateful to Spark and Echo for the opportunity to create a new piece for this ambitious campaign. John is a member of BREAD Arts Collective as well as CORE Artists Ensemble. Currently he can be seen in RISE AND FALL at People Lounge, every Sunday night at 8pm. John is a graduate of The Juilliard School.