Where are the really great spirit-filled films? I ask myself this question every time I go see a film. "Chariots of Fire," "Left Behind," and "Prince of Egypt" have strong religious themes and are great stories, well told. But what about recently? Where are God and Christ on film? Where is faith and grace? .
Drama has its earliest origins in dramatic reenactments of the Bible. When the common man couldn't read and did not have access to the Bible, the local monks and clergy would perform stories from the Bible. Their purpose was to bring the truth to the people and to save souls. These performances were hugely successful, as masses of people would flock to the town centers to see them. .
Hollywood has done largely the same thing in creating their amazing film industry. The goal, however, is obviously different. They are a business concerned with making a profit, not saving souls. The film industry churns out films that are designed to make money. Questionable content, rough language, and violence are commonplace. .
But even within this system, God and Christ, faith and grace, and spirit-filled moments still appear on screen and the common folk still flock to see them. Sometimes these moments are bold and unabashedly evident and sometimes you have to look really hard. Nonetheless they are still there. .
Last year's "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" is an example that celebrates faith in troubled times. Besides being a hilarious retelling of Homer's "Odyssey," "O Brother" offers audiences a wonderfully moving baptism scene. Accompanied by the joyous choral music "Let's Go Down," the character of Delmar, a convicted criminal on the run, flops into the water and becomes a new creature in Christ. From this point on, his storyline is centered around doing what is right and telling others about being saved. And if that doesn't get your attention, much of the film's soundtrack is a celebration of depression era gospel songs! Audiences enjoyed and appreciated this film in a way that was most heartening.