I was about to title this post “Recent and Upcoming Christian Movies,” but the term “Faith-Based” is perhaps a more accurate description for reasons you’ll soon see. There are three new feature length films that have been released or will be released this year that I am curious to see: 17 Miracles, Plates of Gold, and Courageous.
First film up for consideration is 17 Miracles. A T.C. Christensen film, this films depicts the story of Levi Savage and his involvement in the Mormon handcart companies that migrated to the Salt Lake valley in the 1850’s. T.C. Christensen is a veteran cinematographer, and though relatively quiet in his personal approach to promoting films, he has become one of, if not the most, prolific LDS filmmaker of recent times. The film was released earlier this summer in theaters and I believe is now being prepped for release on DVD.
Next film up is Christian Vuissa’s latest film, Joseph Smith: Volume1 – Plates of Gold. This film has been critically hailed by at least one notable LDS scholar as a feast of information from the early period of the life of the prophet Joseph Smith. The film was first released in limited screenings back East in Palmyra, New York (Joseph Smith’s childhood home). The film is scheduled for release throughout Utah early next month.
Last film, which is set to be released at the end of September is Courageous, the latest film from Sherword Pictures, the Baptist filmmaking ministry in southern Georgia that was responsible for Fireproof and Facing the Giants. Based off of their past films, there are some very good things going on in their film making (though admittedly a little heavy handed at times with the preaching in their films – but after all this is their ministry, so perhaps I can forgive that) that I will address in later posts. My only concern with Courageous, and this is the irony, is that it’s not a family friendly film, being perhaps a bit too intense for small children.
I think that the distributors should release these films in more of Utah, because it would do a great deal to help encourage our own LDS movie making efforts, to take few notes from their book on combining faith and film. Ok, maybe it’s not the best idea, but more on this later.
So there they are. Titles and images to each film are linked to their respective websites. If you’ve seen any of these films, feel free to leave remarks in the comments section below.
P.S. Anyone notice the obvious dearth of women’s stories on this list. Yes, we’re not quite catching the full vision yet. Here’s a link to compensate for that lack of women’s stories in film.