Film for the Soul

By: Sandra L. Churchill

Amid the stresses of crazy routines, household chores, paying bills, parenting challenges, and the ups and downs of discipline, movies can sometimes offer a wonderful reprieve. MoviesTrue, a two-hour escape is hardly a vacation, but it can be the equivalent of a nap to a stressed-out day, a drink of water refreshing a parched spirit.

Lately, the movie theatres seem to be overflowing with food for the soul, cinema style. Likely timed with the Easter season, films brimming with inspirational themes are streaming into the market. “Son of God,” “Noah,” “God’s Not Dead,” and “Heaven is for Real” are flooding the theatres. The surprise for this mom was the least-known, least-marketed gem: “God’s Not Dead.”

Produced by Pure Flix, the story highlights multiple life-struggle stories in characters navigating their way through faith, work, health, trust, and relationships. At the center of the plot is a college student named Josh Wheaton (played by Shane Harper) who butts heads with oppressive philosophy professor Radisson (played by Kevin Sorbo) pushing atheism in his classroom. The parallel plots keep the viewer interested in real-life challenges faced by varying cultures and age groups.

Inspired by over 35 courtroom cases of colleges versus students, the film argues some compelling wisdom for protecting and defending faith. However, an equally-important message centers around courage and a search for personal meaning. I’m not sure if it was the multiple relationships conveyed in the film, its Easter release (a central time of renewal), or the fresh faces on-screen, but the movie was like a mini-retreat. The movie culminates in a performance of Christian rock band “Newsboys” singing the title track: “God’s Not Dead”.

In an age where budgets are strained, news headlines are gloomy, and stresses abound, this two-hour break seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. Well done, Pure Flix! I emerged from the theatre uplifted, recharged, and refreshed for a whopping $6.50 at Hanover’s Patriot Cinema. What more could a mom ask for?

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