Thursday, April 16, 2015

Movies about Faith

It's a rare thing to find a movie that deals with Christianity in a responsible and respectful way. So I was intrigued by these two lists that surfaced recently.

Relevant Magazine highlighted 8 Underrated "Christian" Movies. I've only seen a couple of them. Although The Book of Eli was way over my comfort level for violence, it was a remarkable movie. I'll never forget the scene when Solara wakes up and sees Eli reading the Bible and asks him why he would bother reading the same book every day. Good question. And of course the final scene when he reaches safety and "hands  over" the book is powerful.

The Imaginative Conservative lists 10 Movies Every Conservative Should See. While, not overtly Christian, they deal with the important themes of hope, mercy, free will, and family. (I've only seen one of the ten.)

Let's face it. Most Christian movies are cheesy and I'd be embarrassed to show them to anyone. But here are a few other films that handle Christian themes with care:

1) A Man for All Seasons (1966)
2) Babette's Feast (1987)
3) The Scarlet and the Black (1983)
4) Unbroken (2014)
5) Chariots Of Fire (1981)
6) Secretariat (2010) - Though not technically a "Christian" movie, it includes voice-overs of scripture being read and seamlessly includes the gospel song "Oh Happy Day." Powerful without being obtrusive.
7) Person of Interest (TV series) deals with many ethical issues. (Are bad people worth saving? How far can man go in trying to play God? etc.) In spite of the violence, I appreciated the repeated redemptive themes in this program.

Do you have suggestions for other movies?


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this list. I would add The Good Lie and McFarland which I just saw, newly released on DVD.

Anonymous said...

I am thankful for these lists. Just yesterday we were trying to think of some inspiring movies to watch. Quite a few of these I have never heard of.

Barbara H. said...

Of those, I have only seen Chariots if Fire and Person of Interest. I dearly want to see Unbroken some time. Thanks for the ones on your list and the list you linked to - I need to compile them for reference so I have some ideas next time we want to watch a movie.

Les Miserables had an emphasis on redemption and law vs. grace, real vs. rules-based Christianity. The book more so than the film, though the film captured it as well: unfortunately, the film and musical had to play up Fantine's occupation, which the book did not.

Barbara H. said...

Oh, I wanted to mention, too, Once Upon a Time, the TV series. They come so close, but they actually miss it, or have so far. One major theme is that neither heroes nor villains are all black and white. Heroes are flawed and villains have more to them, especially the causes of the choices they made, than one would think, yet there's hope for their redemption. Two of the villains have made changes: one appeared to but was faking it, or trying and failing. This last season when it was revealed Prince Charming and Snow White had done something awful in their past (to protect their daughter, but it harmed another), and their daughter held it against them for a long time, there was much talk of there being no way they could make up for the wrong they'd done, and the need for forgiveness, and even the need for grace - but they missed it by referring to grace as something they needed to work for, and to be good from then on to "outbalance" the one bad thing. But at the end of this season, their daughter, who has been called the Savior since season 1 when she came to rescue the town from a curse, voluntarily takes on an evil entity to protect others from it, and it seemed so much a parallel of Christ taking evil upon Himself to save others (not exactly - He wasn't inhabited by an entity, and there are other differences.) But there were so many similarities that it was striking. And I don't think the authors really meant to make those parallels!