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Movie review: Letters to God

Posted on September 15, 2010 at 4:12 PM

I watched “Letters to God” today. Don't worry, I won't give the plot away. The story is about a kid with cancer. The kid takes at least his name from an actual kid who dealt with the same thing. It was preachy and there were a couple moving performances. I can't help wanting Christian media that wrestles with hard issues without being so darn preachy. I mean somebody doesn't have to get saved in every story. There's more to the Christian experience than that. I'm sure there are people writing the kind of work I'm looking for, I'm just not in touch with any of them. What we're seeing these days may be a good move in the right direction.

 

Then there's this whole thing of portraying characters that model ideal behavior versus showing characters that mirror reality. Not sure how to hold that in tension in a balanced way. Let's face it, Christians are far from perfect individuals. The Bible is unapologetic about this, is far from sentimental about people's faults, and doesn't always condemn bad behavior immediately after it happens. Our media need to catch up (to an ancient book that we consider our primary text, mind you).

 

That said, I think Christian media needs to be supported by us if we ever want to see changes like this. Yes, if we rent it, it tells the makers we want more preachy stuff like this. But how can they get off the ground if they have no money to do so? We have to rent (or buy) and let our voices be heard, telling them we want more from our movies. "We," that is, if anyone agrees with me.

 

 

 


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2 Comments

Reply Webmaster J
11:10 PM on September 19, 2012 
Another nice pro-life message is in "Bella," which is also not preachy at all. Really you have to think about the movie to get a pro-life message out of it. Which is just the way it should be, mostly. At times you have to spell things out. Which is where I get unsettled because it can become preachy.

I struggle with the idea of how much to show the reader. How much can I count on their intelligence, (logical, emotional, or otherwise) to make sense out of the writing I'm presenting them? I think I overdo it on the hand holding thing, probably insulting some peoples' intelligence.
Reply chad
11:08 PM on October 19, 2010 
"What we're seeing these days may be a good move in the right direction." I'm not sure about that. Though I haven't seen the movie in question, I think I'd rather see believing artists emerging in the mainstream who appeal based on their quality and make things that are excellent that may turn some off, but also appeal to enough to garner critical or mass praise/attention. I want to like movies because they are universal and well done and convey conviction without preachy rather than to support the preachy and hope it evolves into relevant.

I think I could offer some support for this in music, and maybe film if I give more thought to speicific examples that qualify. For starters, "Fireproof" does NOT apply. Schlock. How about Narnia and LOTR? These are spiritually rich allegories turned film without too direct a sermon that are just super film-making.. I like "Juno" for being pro-life but not preachy and just genuinely entertaining, though it'd offend some and not be called a Christian movie at all. I've never cried or been truly affected by a "Chrisitan" film, but I've been deeply moved in my Christianity in film.