By Anntreece Jones
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?” Epikuros
Religions offer people a significant existential narrative. This narrative claims to explain and give meaning to things that exist in the universe and human lives. Those who believe in this narrative gain a certain guidance as they live their lives. What should be done, what should be avoided, the rights, the wrongs, and the ultimate goals to which life should be devoted are determined. However, in some cases, people are forced to question these believed truths when faced with certain life experiences. Anntreece Jones' movie 'Blocked' directs attention to a topic that has been debated throughout the ages in theology and philosophy, with roots tracing back to the history of religions.
The main character April, played by Lorenda King, develops a particular reactivity against the concept of 'God' due to some traumatic events in her childhood. As a young child, April was abandoned in front of a house frequented by drug addicts by her mother. Later adopted, misfortune continued to follow her. The adoptive family did not show her enough love and care. Even when April was abused in the church's children's organization, they chose silence in exchange for money. For people who have experienced such shocking injustices and victimization in their lives, the explanatory and meaningful narrative offered by religions begins to lose its sufficiency. The issue even extends to questions about the existence or non-existence of God. 'Blocked' is not a film that deeply examines the problem of God's existence from various angles. It superficially addresses the question 'If God exists, why is there evil?' - known as 'Theodicy' in religious terminology - within the scope of an ordinary person's efforts to empathize, examine, reason, understand, and interpret in daily life, making it a successful production.
Apart from April's character being ready to unleash her anger, disappointment, and resentment about God whenever she hears words related to this concept, the discussions throughout the film develop in a very natural environment and flow, turning into performances that the audience will enjoy watching and ponder upon. The casting is quite successful, especially the lead Lorenda King and Shanda Wilson, who plays Jody defending God, deliver very impressive performances. The side characters participating in the discussions portray types that could be found in any discussion among friends, yet they still manage to bring unique aspects to their roles.
Although the film itself may not think so, 'Blocked' can be considered 'apologetic' in the religious terminological sense. That is, it deserves to be described as a film defending God and His mysterious ways of working. It invites the viewer, who has doubts about God's justice and goodness, to break free from being locked into certain thoughts, to evaluate events from different angles, and to think and assess the events with a broader perspective.