Got plans for next Easter? Apart from going to church, I mean? Today Warner Brothers and Alcon Entertainment announced that they will release Hillsong: Let Hope Rise — a documentary about Hillsong United, the chart-topping worship band from Sydney, Australia — on April 3, which just happens to be Good Friday on the western calendar. Warner and Alcon scored a huge success a few years ago with The Blind Side, the true story of a Christian family that took a troubled (but athletically talented) teen under its wing, so the two companies do know how to handle films with a built-in evangelical appeal.
A press release issued today says director Michael John Warren, whose credits include everything from Jay-Z’s Fade to Black and Shrek the Musical to the beer documentary The Magic of Heineken, is currently following the band on its five-continent tour, and it says the film will also show the band preparing to record its next album.I must admit I don’t know anything about Hillsong United, which has apparently been around since 1998, as I stopped paying attention to contemporary Christian music about 20 years ago (except for certain bands, like Daniel Amos). And the whole notion of treating church like theatre or a rock show — especially within a stadium-like setting — is pretty alien to where I’m at these days. But I’m mildly curious to see what I might learn about these guys from this film.
I’m also wondering how many moviegoers will raise their hands and sway like they’re at a worship service during the movie. Stranger things have happened!