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Movies for Lent?

March 16, 2007
If you didn't give up going to the movies for Lent, here are two suggestions:
I just saw a great film: Bridge to Terabithia. What can I say without giving it away? It is a wonderful, fun, meaningful tale of friendship and hope, faith and despair, kindness, compassion, loss and growth. It is not a religious film. I don't even know if the author of the book or the film makers intended it to be so, but it left me feeling the same way I do after a meaningful spiritual experience. I felt the same way after watching another film many years ago: Before Sunrise. In it, two strangers meet on a train in Europe and spend the night together while waiting for the next train. But don't get me wrong: they don't 'spend the night together' in the way that expression is often used. Instead, they talk and walk and get to know each other. One may think that doesn't make for much in a film, but for me, it was very much the kind of experience that makes us grow. Plus, it's a film with no profanity, no nudity and no violence. Imagine that!
I recommend everyone to go see Bridge to Terabithia or wait for the DVD to come out. It is a definite must for all kids ages 11-13. But parents, make sure you go with them; there may be lots to talk about afterwards. If you liked Narnia and How To Eat Fried Worms, you'll love this one.
Another film that just came out in the U.S. and England is: Amazing Grace. This film tells the story of William Wilberforce, the Member of Parliament who was responsible for putting an end to slavery in England. It is also the story of the hymn, since Wilberforce was inspired by the song's author and former slave trader John Newton. I just found out that the film opens in Canada on Friday, March 23. I'm not sure if it will show in many theatres but it is distributed by Odeon Films. Go check it out.
Amazing Grace is one of those films that was made with the purpose of spreading the Gospel. Although it isn't part of the Hollywood Machine and doesn't have a blockbuster budget, this is part of the trend started by Mr. Gibson with the Passion of the Christ. Movies like this provide a chance for Hollywood execs to make money while the Good News is still spread. But that means that we, you and I, have to fill the seats. So, when Amazing Grace is released, go see it the first weekend it is out. That will ensure that it will continue to stay in the theatres and that other faith-related films will continue to be made.
Happy movie-viewing!

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