I’m a Catholic.
As a result, how I view the world will be influenced by my Catholic faith.
I also like movies.
What I wish more Christians understood is that goodness, truth, and beauty can come from anywhere, not just from Christians:
…brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)
The keyword in this verse, to me, is “whatever.”
As in “It doesn’t matter who makes it or what country or culture it comes from: If it is admirable, if it lovely, if it is noble, if it is right, think about it.”
How do you determine if a movie is all of those things?
This is how I do it:
I got this list from one of my favorite movie critics, Jeffrey Overstreet:
That is beautiful;
That is excellent;
That is honest;
That represents evil as bearing consequences;
That represents love as light in darkness;
That steers our attention away from ourselves and toward something greater;
Is a movie capable of revealing God’s truth to us.
To me, My Neighbor Totoro is beautiful, excellent, honest, represents actions as bearing consequences, represents love as light in darkness, steers my attention away from myself and toward something greater, and is deserving of the praise it has gotten since it came out in 1988.
I wish more Christians believed that, when it comes to movies, the best ones aren’t just the ones made by Christians in America.
If more Christians believed that, than I wouldn’t be reading paragraphs like this one, from WAR ROOM’s A+ Cinemascore Tells the Story:
MOVIEGUIDE® consistently gives awards to movies that are more popular with audiences than with reviewers or industry awards programs. The principle is similar to CinemaScore. Other reviewers are sadly out of touch with ticket buyers. In fact, they are so far out of touch that most of them pick only one blockbuster movie, and many mediocre “independent” movies and boring foreign language movies that appeal to only a few moviegoers.
I wish more Christians, when it came to reviewing movies made by people of other faiths, in other cultures or countries, believed the following Bible verse:
[God] has…set eternity in the human heart… (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
If words like this, from Movieguide’s review of Spirited Away, are anything to go by:
…the story takes place in a demonic…world…
Many Christians don’t believe Ecclesiastes 3:11.
To any Christians who are trying to use movies to change the world for the better:
I believe that the world doesn’t need more movies made by Christians, for Christians.
I believe that what the world needs is movies that express goodness, truth, and beauty, no matter where it comes from.