Hollywood produces a lot of films that are trash, filled with gratuitous violence, sex, and foul languag, peopled with characters living by anything but a biblical worldview. But every now and then they hit a homerun and make a film that is encouraging, uplifting, and more important presents Christians as real people living their convictions. Here's a short list of the films I think are worth watching and owning.
Charriots of Fire is at the top of my list. It is the true story of Eric Liddel, winner of the 400 meter race in the 1924 Olympics and, more importantly, a man who gave his life to serve the Lord in China, where he died at the end of the Second World War in a Japanese prison camp. The film is exceptionally well done. You may have trouble finding it as a rental, but you can buy a copy on Amazon.com.
The Friendly Persuasion is a simplified screen version of Jessamyn West's novel of the same name. The film tells the story of a Quaker family who struggled to live their convictions during the Civil War period. The novel is far better than the film, but the film, a Disney production, is fun and portrays the Birdwell family with good humor and vitality. You'll have to buy this one too as it is not available in any of the rental stores in the area.
Cry the Beloved Country is the bueautifully filmed vesion of Alan Paton's novel set in aparthied South Africa after the Second World War. Wow! The country is beautiful. But beauty is actually the counterpoint to the plot in which a black pastor Stephen Kumalo is thrown into a tragic relationship with his white neighbor when the pastor's son kills the white man's son in Johannesburg. The outcome is sad, but hopeful. The black pastor's son is executed for his crime, but his death brings the two fathers together in mutual respect that looks forward to a more hopeful future. More important than the plot, however, is the characterization of Reverend Kumalo. He is a truly good man who lives a biblical worldview in very difficult times. I love this film.
Lez Miserables, the 1998 version, seriously edits the magnificent novel by Victor Hugo, but it stands on its own feet as a great character study of the main character of the novel, Jean Valjean. Valjean is an escaped criminal who finds lodging for a night with a saintly old priest who forgives Valjean when he steals the silver from the rectory. That act of forgiveness changes Valjean's life. From that moment on we see Valjean acting out his biblical worldview through dangerous times when self-sacrifice means almost certain discovery and arrest. When I show this film to a class, they almost always applaud at the end. Beautifully filmed.
Hey, that's a short list. If you have a recommendation for a good film depicting a biblical worldview, post it to this blog.