BOOK AND MOVIE GUIDES
MANDATE | NOVEMBER2016 46
The Illegal The story is placed in the near future, but it
screams today’s reality by Heather Macdonald
to deporting “illegals” and barring new arrivals. Indigenous
people were denied full rights of citizenship in Canada until
1960. Immigrants are resettled, but asylum seekers find the
way difficult and can be turned back.
• Was life equitable in Zantoroland and Freedom State?
• Is life more equitable in Canada? Whom do we marginal-
LOAVES AND FISHES OF JUSTICE
ize? How can we better engage marginalized people?
• Can we share our good life without sacrificing human
rights to security concerns?
Founded on corruption, Freedom State never confronted its
past. In its relationship with Zantoroland and its labelling and
persecution of illegals, it continued to dehumanize people. In
simply responding to another’s need Ivernia—rather like the
Good Samaritan—challenged the laws. The simplest, most
effective strategy for change is how we treat our neighbours.
• How would you characterize Ivernia’s actions?
• Did you identify with any of the characters?
• What acts of concern or sharing heartened you? What
troubled you? Why?
In the story, two of Freedom State’s marginalized, a gifted
young student and disabled journalist, become guardians of
the rule of law.
• What is the difference between breaking the law and
endangering the rule of law?
• How was the rule of law at risk in Freedom State?
• What risks do we face in our world? Are there checks and
balances? What can we do?
God, hold us together tightly in the palm of your hand. Still
our unease; strengthen our struggles to understand. Help us
share your loaves and fishes and live in justice. Show us how
inclusion offers the greatest security, so we know what it is
to be one with the world. Amen.
Heather Macdonald is an advocate for refugees committed to building a better Canada.
RACE, FORCED MIGRATION,
human trafficking, and abuse of
power set the stage for a complex
human drama about a marathoner who is running for his life.
Lawrence Hill’s book The Illegal
challenges our understanding of
belonging. The mythic Freedom
State—built on the dehumanization of African slaves and
their subsequent deportation to
and a democracy that promises
the rule of law, and protection of human rights. It is contrasted by the brutal dictatorship of Zantoroland.
We gather today with the freedom to discuss, disagree, and
wonder. We too live in a flawed “Eden.” Help us address the
disparity within our own garden. Help us heed the cries
from migrant death-boats and walkers stopped by states’
barbed wire. Show us how to live as you would have us
HOW DO WE FIT?
Canadians live in a land of historic displacement, discrimination, privilege, and plenty. We’ve had our Afric Town and
Zantorized reserves. We can refuse to see domestic and foreign disparity. We can be insular and shut out the world. We
may worry about those in desperate need at home and abroad
but feel powerless to do anything. Read John 6: 1–15.
• What does this miracle say to us about sharing the world?
• How do you interpret it?
• Does it inform Keita’s observation that the poorest people
bring in strangers and the richest keep them out?
LIFE WITH NEIGHBOURS
How can those who have benefitted from migration respond
to the millions of people still desperately searching? Wealth,
basic human rights, and population are not evenly distributed
across the world. There are many Zantorolands. Freedom
State is fixated on the legality of its residents and committed