I saw ‘Facing the Giants’ on Sunday, October 22nd. I am not a movie-goer, and I detest lining the pockets of the Hollywood left, but I had read an intriguing review of this movie on Patriot Post and decided it was worth my time checking out. I had also read some negative reviews written by your typical Hollywood movie reviewers, but suspected that this movie might just be an example of the kind of spiritually meaningful movie whose value depends upon what the viewer brings to it, in terms of ability to actually comprehend the depth of the message. I suspect that most readers of this blog have the right stuff in that regard, whereas most professional movie critics may not. :)
I left the theater on Sunday evening knowing that I had seen one of the most powerful movies of my life. There was no phony ‘emoting’ of Hollywood actors – just average people playing average people. The story had the potential to become a formulaic, predictable, hokey attempt at a meaningful message, as have so many Hollywood ‘overcome-the-odds-success-stories’, but it side-stepped that trap and became, instead, a beautifully touching genuine artistic success.
The audience at the showing I attended (which was large, considering that the movie was released a month ago, and which represented virtually every segment of modern America) was, to a person, enrapt from beginning to end. There were an abundance of tears, laughter, compassion, profound sorrow, and unrestrained joy ... and perhaps a spiritual epiphany or two.
The humor is wonderful, and artfully inserted in just the right places. The acting is real. The passion is genuine. The faith is beautiful. And the viewer leaves the theater with a feeling of uplift, optimism and inspiration that is rare in these troubling times.
See it if you can. You will agree with me. Hollywood can’t come close.
Below is a fascinating story of the movie’s evolution excerpted from the trailer description. Is there any doubt that the Lord’s hand played an essential role in the making of this memorable movie?:
‘Facing the Giants’ is the new feature from Sherwood Pictures, a production company birthed out of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Michael C. Catt, senior pastor at Sherwood, and Jim McBride, executive pastor, supported the vision for the movie believing that this ‘out of the box’ approach to ministry could produce positive results around the world. With no fund-raising, the huge undertaking was supported by private donations from Sherwood members. The church rallied together in prayer and volunteered their time and talents for the new venture. None of the actors were paid as the majority of the cast and crew were volunteers with no prior experience.
Because of their unique availability, retired senior adult men, stay-at-home moms, and home schooled teenagers primarily compiled the working crew to operate the set during the six weeks of shooting. Locations for the movie were donated by local residents, businesses, and schools. All ages were involved as Sunday school classes cooked meals and became the ‘caterers’ to the crew each day. Training the volunteers and facilitating the production was a hired team of only five professionals.
‘Facing the Giants’ was written and produced by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, brothers and associate pastors at Sherwood Baptist Church. Their goals were to produce a family friendly movie that could be affordably shot in Albany, would be fun to watch, impactful to viewers, and glorifying to God. ‘I believe there is a huge culture of people who love movies, but leave theaters disappointed by films with profanity, immorality, and messages that trample their family’s values and faith,’ said Kendrick.