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Films with Faith: A Recent Article

14th March 2006

The Philidelphia Inquirer has a brief article by Kristin E. Holmes entitled “Films with Faith: Several Groups Picked their Top Movies Based on Spiritual and Religious Content, [and] Values.” In the article, Holmes underscores the revival (!) of interest in religious or spiritual films by production companies. According to Holmes, a “spiritual film” has content that “may include the exploration of a person’s humanity, or the fight between good and evil, redemptive storytelling or overtly religious content.” She even quotes my good friend and film-viewing buddy, Tim Willson, as saying, “Fox, Warner Bros. and Sony are among the studios aggressively pursuing the faith-oriented market” (Nice quote Tim!). (Tim is the marketing director for Crown Video, a distributor of Christian-themed films and videos based here in Edmonton).

Some of the groups those who have recently picked their best movies of 2005 she mentions in her article include:

Of course, I am shocked and appalled that she did not mention my own list (see my post, “Essential Films of 2005 for Theologians – Extended Edition” as well as “Movies Worth Watching“). Perhaps a bit more surprising is that she failed to mention the Faith and Film Critics Circle Best of 2005 Awards.

An issue that Holmes raises in her article is the desire of movie studios to cash in on the popularity of religous films — especially since Mel Gibson‘s The Passion of the Christ. Of course, the challenge is to make films that are both spiritually significant and good! She also noted the controversy in religious circles surrounding Brokeback Mountain and the tension between recognizing merit in a film in which you may disagree with its content or overall message.

It’ll be interesting to see what controversy The Da Vinci Code will generate when it is released on May 19 (as if the film could generate any more controversy than the book!)


2 Responses to “Films with Faith: A Recent Article”

  1. MattPage Says:

    For a more comprehensive list covering the history of film rather than just last year, the Arts and Faith top 100 spiritually significant films is a really good list.

    By the way, I didn’t know you knew Tim Wilson. I’ve had a bit of limited contact with him over the years – he’s a good guy isn’t he?

    Matt

  2. Alan Thomas Says:

    What Matt said–they completely missed the very best list: The Arts & Faith Top100 List of Spiritually Significant Films, now entering its third revision, reflecting all major branches of Christian, and types of viewers ranging from professional critics to pastors and lay people.