- Signs (2002)
- "The cause for Hess' loss of faith is explained when his wife's untimely death is described by her as something that was "meant to be." This thought that God could "mean" to take his beloved wife in the prime of her life throws Hess into a spiritual rage. But what he does not realize is that he cannot be angry with a God who does not exist. His struggle betrays his atheistic claims." (Cinema in Focus, Review by Hal Conklin and Denny Wayman)
- "Do you
believe that, even if the worst thing happens, there is a benevolent God
working things together for good, watching over you? Or do you think things
are out of control, and there may not be any answer or rescue available?
"(Looking Closer, review by Jeffrey Overstreet)
- See Values & Visions Film Guide, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality & Health for discussion questions.
- "This is very cool, folks. Very cool. You see, this movie that has captured America's collective attention and a chunk of Hollywood change has, at its core, a strong evangelical message." ("'Signs' of the Times," review by Jamee Kennedy at thefilmforum.com)
of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
- The Lord of the Rings is a movie which in following the book well enough, addresses many issues pertaining to emotions, faith, hope, pity, call, confronting evil, discernment, and many many more themes. This movie is rich to bursting with possibilities, as it follows the book which was written around a mythical and religious basis. (Michael K. Doran)
- A Beautiful
- See review at Cinema in Focus.
- The proposal scene, "A wedding". John and Alicia discuss how we "know" the universe is infinite. John says, "Sometimes you just know". (About halfway through the film.) (Bil Shappell)
- Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?
- Everett has escaped prison with Delmar and Pete. Everett is somewhat pompous and enjoys using a big vocabulary. He is also a skeptic, especially concerning religion. After Delmar and Pete are baptized, he ridicules them. Before they are to be hung, Everett issues a fervent prayer and they are delivered, but while the others see a miracle, Everett returns to his skepticism. (Darrel Manson, Artesia Christian Church, Artesia, CA)
- The Sixth Sense (1999)
- Coming to new understandings little by little: Malcolm comes to believe that it's possible that Cole sees dead people, and then later comes to realize that he is one of those people, and decides what to do about that. His understanding is increasingly personal, and comes through his relationship with Cole, every bit as much as Cole's "healing" comes through Malcolm.
- The faith of Mathesar and his ship-mates inspires the Galaxy Quest crew to become what they have pretended to be. (Live as if you have faith, and faith develops.)
- Brandon's faith in a seeming illusion allows him to be helpful in the struggle.
- Music of the Heart
- (Early part of the video) Roberta is talking to her classes and tells them "you must stand tall and strong." Later in the video when she is considering quitting she goes into her classroom and talks to a little girl who wares a brace on her left leg. The young girl wants to quit because she can not stand tall. Roberta says "Standing tall is more than standing on your legs. It can also be to stand tall here (as she touches the girls heart). Application: standing tall in the faith even when we are wounded. (Richard Reese)
- The End
of the Affair (1999)
- I think this is an important, even astonishing, film that deals with issues of faith and love (and atheism) in a profound and moving way. It's also very sensual but in a humane (not Hollywood) sense. (Lynn Mason)
- Double Jeopardy (1999)
- "See, Lehman, the thing is, every now and again we all want to believe in something, but we just keep forgetting that 99.9% of the time life just flat don't work out." (Lehman proves him wrong - in that instance at least.)
- The Hurricane
- Because of Lesra's faith in him, Hurricane Carter becomes a father-figure to Lesra.
- The Prince of Egypt (1998)
- Simon Birch
- "Faith is not found in a floor plan" (Pastor Chuck Kelsey, New Horizons Church, Coralville, IA)
- Everest (1998-IMAX)
- The grief, the challenge, sacrificial acts and the son Sherpa's faith are unforgettably moving. (submitted by Pamela Harvey)
of God (1997)
- Sheriff Rogers' speech: "Faith. God tells a man to sacrifice his own son. The man has faith, and he will do it. He doesn't ask why. Maybe Abraham, as he binds his son, knows why they are there. I don't anymore."
- Titanic (1997)
- Rose's perseverance and trust
- Jack encourages Rose to have faith as they ride the sinking ship down and then dive into the water.
- The Apostle (1997)
- "Sonny always has one foot in really trusting what he believes in, even though he errs. If someone took your church, like Jessie took his, and if someone took your wife, like the youth minister took Jessie, it would be a hard thing to deal with. He didn?t intend to kill anybody, but it happened on the spur of the moment. ?Oh, my God!?, he knows he?s done something wrong. ?I gotta leave,? he thinks; ?what do I do?? ?Lord, lead me,? he says. He still depends on the Lord, you know, even though he has sinned. So he begins an odyssey, the whole film is an odyssey journey. (From "The Apostle: An Interview with Robert Duvall," Bill Blizek and Ronald Burke, Journal of Religion and Film, 1998.)
- Contact (1997)
- raises serious issues about faith in the midst of science?s quest for knowledge. (Ellis I Washington, Columbus GA)
- Millenium (television, 1996-99)
- Maddie: I was at church Easter Sunday, and the minister was talking about the mystery of faith, and how easy it is to doubt what you can't prove, and how none of us saw the miracle at the Lord's tomb that day, all we had to do was to believe in it hard enough, and it would be true. And that's what faith was. He said that we can't be weak, that we can't dismiss the miracle, that we have to be strong enough to make mysteries real.
- The Secret of Roan
- This movie has a powerful resurrection theme along with the theme of faith. If you haven't seen this gorgeous movie, filmed on the Irish coast, rent it and love it. (Kristen J Ingram)
- Field of Dreams (1989)
- There are several good scenes for use in worship on this subject, but I think the best one is where James Earl Jones's character is invited by the baseball players to go with them, beyond the field into the corn. He wants to go, even though he knows he won't be able to come back, because it's his destiny, what he was brought to Iowa for. So he takes a few tentative steps, then joyful enters the unknown. (Anonymous)
Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
- Indy takes a blind leap of faith. Start cue: father gets shot End cue: Indy steps out into nothing over cavern. (Luke Whiteside, Youth Alpha Australia)
- Weapons of the
- ".....We, we in this congregation, are called to do what comes naturally (!) for one who has considered the costs and believes, one who has in her back pocket the promies of God as recounted in our Psalm today?.And what comes naturally is moving ahead.(!) The community of LeChambon, France did this. During WWII this protestant peasant French Hugenouts hid, housed, fed, educated and welcomed hundreds of Jews. They set their face firmly toward Jerusalem- with all it's suffering, glory, uncertainly and promise. I believe their story helps illuminate Jesus' greatest hopes and expectations for his disciples.(!) A Jewish man who was a baby when his family was embraced by the people of LeChambon created a documentary film about its story. (We should have a movie time at BPC to watch it). Put a picture of these people in your head. All in their 70s and 80s at the time of filming, there are neatly dressed in well worn vests and simple aprons, walking sticks in hand, rosy faced, vibrant. The filmmaker remarks that hugging one of them is like hugging a tree-these are solid people. Again and again, when asked why they risked their lives for their Jewish brothers and sisters, the peasant farmers respond matter-of-factly with comments like: "Sure, We gave up our bed when there was no choice." "It happened so naturally, we can't understand all the fuss." "The bible says feed the hungry and visit sick. It was the normal thing to do." In an interview with Bill Moyers about LeChambon, the filmmaker remarks, and I am paraphrasing, "These days we seem to think that good people are those who agonize. They " sleep on it"?and maybe in the morning their conscience gets them to do the right thing. No- this idea is wrong. People who agonize don't act. And people who act don't agonize." Their path to discipleship also affirms our Psalm text. Descended from a persecuted people themselves, the French Hugenouts, theirs was a community who took great pains to remember the past. As good Calvinists, they had a very high view of the OT and looked to the prophets to nurture their faith and conduct. Their most oft sung hymn says, "May the spirit that gave [our] ancestors life inspire [our] children to follow their example." They credit their natural giving now with the simple fact that they remember their own story. "There's was not a sentimental faith. Not extraordinary. It was a solid faith that was put to the test and not found wanting." (Anonymous contribution)
- Crimes and
- "And if all your faith is wrong, Saul. What
"Then I'll still have a better life than all of those that doubt."
"Are you telling me that you prefer God to the truth?"
"If necessary, I always choose God over truth."
- "And if all your faith is wrong, Saul. What if..."
- Steel Magnolias (1989)
- M'Lynn (Sally Fields) is burying her daughter Shelby who dies at the age of 27 years old and leaves a young child. M'Lynn, surrounded by her friends at the cemetery is enduring the crush of grief. Her friend Annelle (Daryl Hannah) tries to comfort her with the words, "Shelby is with her King now." M'Lynn's anger explodes as she shouts, "I understand that in my head, but would somebody please explain it to my heart!" Ministry is more than having theologically correct answers to our questions. We often need healing for our broken hearts more than we need answers for a questioning mind. (John Jewell, University of Dubuque Theological School)
- Agnes of God (1985)
- Man's doubt vs. his desire for faith: Agnes herself wants to believe, as does the viewer, that her conception was 'of God'. (Brenda Ransdell, Austin, Texas)
- The NeverEnding Story
- In "The NeverEnding Story" all of Fantasia has been destroyed. All that is left is a grain of sand. Out of that grain, all of Fantasia can be reborn, if Bastian will only believe, and wish for it. (Bette Sohm)
- Yentl (1983)
- Yentl/Anshel: Why is it people who want the truth never believe it when they hear it?
- Papillon (1973)
- Papillon throws the coconuts over the cliff and they hit the rocks and break open. He counts and waits and discovers that it seems like every 7th wave is strong enough to take him out to sea and to freedom. He jumps into the sea on the 7th wave.
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance
- "Who are those guys?" (About the men who are tracking them.) Leap off the cliff into water. (May be an expletive here!)
- Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Luke 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.Luke wins the poker game with nothing. He reply to "Dragline" stating sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand. Luke's prison uniform number is 37. (Dean Cramer)
- The Music Man
- Marian's faith transforms her life and the salesman's life. The band plays "by faith".
- The Last Mile (1959)
- Narrator: Sometimes you have to put your faith in what you can't see. In what you wish.
- High Noon (1952)
- Oscar winning western with much discussion of faith and duty, with a contrast between the marshall's violent duty and his new wife's quaker beliefs. (Don Keast)
on 34th Street (1947)
- Fred Gailey: Look Doris, someday you're going to find that your way of facing this realistic world just doesn't work. And when you do, don't overlook those lovely intangibles. You'll discover those are the only things that are worthwhile.
- "Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to."
- A Bell for Adano (1945)
- WWII movie about occupying american troops who restore religious faith in the village by restoring the bell for the church. (Don Keast)