To all who get excited at statements like “This was a great year for Christian movies!” and “The Christian movie industry is on the rise!” … I give you Selma.
In Selma — and I’m pretty sure about this — there is more gospel quoted, more gospel celebrated, more gospel embraced and openly lived out than in any so-called “Christian movie” released in 2014 (except the one that was, you know, yet another sexy white Jesus movie).
There is far, far more gospel in this film than there is in Unbroken.
There’s even more gospel in Selma than there is in Chariots of Fire… the movie about a white, Olympic-medal-winning Christian that sent white, Protestant congregations rushing to theaters and is still revered as a pinnacle of moviemaking art by many Christians.
And note: Due to the excellence of the artistry, the depiction of faith instead of the advertising of faith, the nuance with which the characters are portrayed, and the lack of any smug condescension toward anybody… the film is taken seriously and is highly praised.
Selma has a 98% “fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes, for what it’s worth. But then, those percentages aren’t worth much. It’s the reviews themselves that will tell you just how enthusiastic film reviewers across America are about this movie.
We do not need to build a Christian movie industry.
We do not need so-called “Christian movies.”
We just need to make beautiful, truthful art… with humility and wisdom and excellence.
Jesus didn’t tell Christian parables. He told unforgettable stories.
And the truth doesn’t need to be defended. It is already victorious, by virtue of it being, well… the truth.
Paul Harrill’s film Something, Anything, which just opened in New York, is an artful, nuanced, beautiful motion picture. It features a troubled young woman who turns to the Bible for consolation, and actually visits the Gethsemani monastery in her search for hope. It’s getting rave reviews. Let’s see if religious press voices pay attention to this film, or notice the difference in its reviews.