Student Life: Le Cinema Noire

Author: Kaleb Johnson | Student, Living Education – Charlotte, 2022-23

Estimated Reading Time: 4 min.

The Plain Facts of the Case

The Living Education students finished their classes on Friday, September 5th. The classes ended at a normal time, but this was no normal day. They had begun to pack up their belongings when they were startled by an announcement. Two student leaders, Ellie and Kezia, burst into the classroom. The students paused and gave them their attention. Kezia spoke first. There was going to be a movie night the following Sunday. The students were shocked. Some laughed, some cried, but most were silent. 

To understand how this event came to be, we need to rewind a few hours. Kezia and Ellie were conspiring together to torment the new students. They wanted the students to engage with the local singles scene (a terrifying prospect), and they had plan. 

After they informed us of the activity, Ellie and Kezia began to delve into the details. 

We were instructed to invite a date to attend with us, and they gave us special invitations to persuade prospective. However, there would only be that night and the following Sabbath to find someone. It was going to be a tall order. After the fact, Kezia explained to me their reasoning. They were using this event as a catalyst to “normalize” dating widely and to bring in more young people from the Charlotte congregation. In the moment, it was madness, pure pandemonium. The students became delirious. The girls stressed and said: “how do you even ask someone out?” The guys asked, “what if they all say no?” Kezia and Ellie eventually managed to restore order and explained the additional detail. The movie was to be a 1930s film—a mystery thriller: “The Thin Man.” To maximize the fun , the students, and their dates, would have to dress in black and white to match the movie. 

The Event in Question 

The Living Education students set about finding dates. They scoured the singles Bible study that night and at church the next day. Many were obliged to talk with unfamiliar brethren, and through diligent effort, most found suitable companions.

Sunday evening rolled around. The movie night was happening at the girl’s dorm, and they were a whirlwind of activity while setting up. Some of the guys showed up early to help too. By time the guests arrived, the venue was lavishly decorated, and the students offered the guests different falvors of popcorn, black and white moon cookies, and some fruit drinks (tastefully named “Murder Mystery Mocktails”). 

Once all the guests got their snick-snacks, we took our seats, and settled in for the movie. The students and guests were charmed by the film and laughed all through the evening, and the element of mystery and thrill added to the mood. The fun did not just end with the movie, but we kept conversing with our dates long afterwards. By the end of the evening, there was only one mystery remaining: when will we be doing this again?