The film and Christian cultures are at a crossroads. Hollywood is struggling (like politics) these days by venturing so far left of the cross, and Christian films struggle by not moving from the far right. Denzel Washington, a devout Christian and very successful actor, produced the first movie that actually encompassed both sides of the cross (and stuck to the central point too). Many, including myself, probably weren’t aware that he is the son of Denzel Washington Sr., a preacher for over 60 years. So how was he able to co-produce a film like this in today’s culture? That’s the question that many in the Christian film industry have to be asking.
Most of those films don’t offer the expertise of Hollywood (with this movie being delivered by Alcon Entertainment / directed by The Hughes Brothers). More details on the film here. For some reason conservative Christians might think of that as “being of this world” (John 15:19)? This film contained a unique mix of intense violence, gore and profanity, while Eli (played by Denzel) kept a clean mouth and shared many direct Biblical truths throughout it. As a co-producer of the film, I would love to hear what Denzel’s thoughts are on creating a story that made the truths of God extremely clear to the eyes of a majority of our country that don’t call Him their Father. Something Christian films fall very short of.
And for Christians. What would conservative Christian institutions have to say to me if they knew I was a fan of this “R rated movie”? I know the high school I attended sure would have given me the boot. Is our faith not strong enough to be in community with violence or vulgarity? Does just being among that kind of a lifestyle mean that you will fall into it? I guess I would much rather our faith (like Denzel’s) actually be seen and heard by those who might have never given it much thought than to rest on the ears of those who have heard it thousands of times and whose lives aren’t changed by it.
To end the review, I’d strongly recommend you go see the movie. You won’t be the same. I’m really glad and shocked that I didn’t share much of the storyline – it’s incredible! Here is a link to the official movie website.