A “Hallowe’en (not so) Special” Monthly Letter

by Geoff Hall on October 31, 2013

October, 2013. Hallowe’en Special

Dear Arts Mentoring Group,

Well here we are, perched on the day of the tackiest ‘festival’ on the calendar, Halloween. Its popularity today in the UK, is something I blame on Steven Spielberg and his film “E.T. the extra-terrestrial”. Sorry Steven! On the eve of All Saints Day, we have this monstrosity to cope with. Originally All Saints Day was celebrated in May, but now it’s cobbled together with a Pagan Festival. Tomorrow is a day to remember Christian martyrs, who perhaps had suffered an ugly death, not, ironically, at the hands of werewolves, ghouls and zombies, but most notably at the hand of Pagans and yes, your local friendly Inquisitors.


This so-called celebration masks the true focus of a Christian festival now fallen into neglect. But today, I’d like to prompt us to remember three 20th Century saints and martyrs: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Sophie Scholl and Andrei Tarkovsky. All were victims of a different kind of abuse of power, that of the oppressive regimes of Communism and Fascism. Neither ideology is our friend nor a fellow traveller on the way to freedom. None can bring liberty, equality and fraternity; for the means of violence can only water the seed of humanity in the blood of their victims. Yes, I know, kinda ghoulish, but there’s a theme here!


Each of these martyrs shows us a deeply rooted faith, which informed their work in cultural resistance. We need to remember and learn from such people and tomorrow I shall be thinking of them fondly.


Below is a link to the work of one of them, this time associated with the wonderful music of Arvo Pärt, who also suffered at the hands of a Communist regime.

Tarkovsky’s “Mirror” set to Arvo Pärt’s “Mirror in a Mirror”

It would be interesting if our spiritual friends in America didn’t dress up as ghosts and ghouls, but as martyrs; not as cultural phantoms, but as those worthy of remembrance.

A film by Marc Rothemund, (2005).

A film by Marc Rothemund, (2005).


Tomorrow would be a good day to read a little Bonhoeffer, watch a Tarkovsky clip, remember the sacrifice of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose Movement and maybe even watch “Sophie Scholl: The Final Days”.

Think on these things.

Peace and Love to you all,
























Dear Geoff,
Thanks again for taking the time to write and post into a space that may often feel strangely empty or mute. The Tarkovsky/Pärt combo set some thoughts moving with regard to a painting I’m yet to make but am currently conceiving. Methinks time is approaching to see ‘Mirror’. The framing (and pace) of the clip is breathtaking and affirms some ideas that I wish to tentatively/boldly explore.

by Marco Cazzulini on November 1, 2013 at 9:28 am. Reply #

Sounds intriguing Marco.

Of course there’s also another opportunity to visit chez hall, or for me to come over to you and watch the film. (It’s shorter than Stalker!!)

There are lots of dream and memory scenes in Mirror, which have an interesting affect on the rhythm of the film.

Anyway, thanks for commenting.
Peace, Geoff

by Geoff Hall on November 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm. Reply #

An excerpt from a poem by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
(Night Voices in Tegel)

Stretched out on my cot
I stare at the grey wall.
Outside a summer morning
Which is not yet mine
Goes brightly into the countryside.

Brother, till after the long night
Our day breaks
We stand fast!

Today, we remember Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

by Geoff Hall on November 1, 2013 at 11:25 am. Reply #

Thanks for the post Geoff. Just the inspiration I needed to put together Sunday’s worship at Sanctuary.

by Iain Cotton on November 4, 2013 at 9:30 am. Reply #

Thanks Iain,

Hope it proves inspirational.


by Geoff Hall on November 5, 2013 at 3:44 pm. Reply #

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