It seems that redemptive movies are especially significant for such dark, dangerous days as these. At this time of the Jewish celebration of Purim when God raised up Esther “for such a time” to turn back evil against the Jews, it is interesting to reflect on history. There have been pivotal, critical times in history such as those involving examples such Constantine and Martin Luther that are instructive and inspirational for today.
It seems that in the history of God and man that when men have exceeded God’s universal, absolute moral boundaries that He has allowed them to spiral downward for a time but when they have reached the bottom of the moral spiral, in His loving mercy, He has raised up someone, albeit an imperfect but God-fearing someone, to move their culture back into God’s good, protecting, and loving boundaries. This happened at the bottom of the moral spiral in the Roman Empire, to which the degeneration of Western and American culture has been compared, with Constantine at which time he replaced the authority of the Roman dictators with the Church and stopped the brutal coliseum entertainment. (This was also the beginning of redemptive drama starting in the church with miracle, mystery, morality, and then Biblical cycle plays.) Then this happened again when Church leadership degenerated and Martin Luther, along with other reformers led the Reformation, replaced the central authority of degenerate Church authorities with the centrality of God’s Word, and produced some of the great hymns and art of the Church.
It seems that today’s redemptive filmmakers (like Esther, Constantine, Luther and their historic associates) may have been divinely orchestrated to enlighten, enrich, and empower for such a time. It seems that a pivotal time at the bottom of a moral spiral downwards in recent history developed when “The Passion of the Christ” (2004) was produced. There were earlier developments leading up to it, but 2004 marked a particularly cultural low point when “The Passion of the Christ” paved the way for other redemptive movies to positively and constructively affect the mainstream to redeem culture.
Since 2004 many successful redemptive movies and television programs have impacted culture for good. These have included successful movies in theaters, which have demonstrated their impact on popular culture, such as “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” in 2005, “Amazing Grace” in 2006, “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian” in 2008, “The Blind Side” in 2009, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in 2010, “The Help” in 2011,”The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” in 2012, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” in 2013, and “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” in 2014. Among many other fine redemptive movies in the making, “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair” is due out in 2016 and “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew” is in development.
Notable successful redemptive and Biblical movies on television, which again have demonstrated popular interest and impact on the culture, have included the work of Roma Downey and Mark Burnett in producing “The Bible” in 2013, which led to the movie “Son of God” in 2014. Their ongoing work for television includes “AD” coming out for Easter and other upcoming television programs. Their remake of the movie, “Ben Hur” is also in development.
In ongoing correspondence with Moveguide (R) and because of their comprehensive research, it has become clear that the most successful movies and television programs, especially over time, are redemptive and/or family-friendly. Today, according to Mojo Box Office on March 6, the movie “McFarland, USA,” is in 5th place at the box office and film “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” is in 6th place. Both movies have remained in theaters week after week, as have many other redemptive and/or family films. According to Fandango on March 6 other top box office, popular, redemptive and/or family friendly movies that have had sustaining power and are still in theaters include: “Paddington,” “Big Hero 6,” “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1,” “Unbroken,” “Hobbit, Battle of the Five Armies,” “Selma,” “Old Fashioned,” “Penguins of Madagascar,” and “Annie.” Such movies have been overriding R-rated movies and bringing popular entertainment back into traditional, universal, moral boundaries.
Other promising redemptive movies on the Spring 2015 horizon with notable and/or mainstream actors include the following: March 20- “Do You Believe,” April 3- “David and Goliath,” and April 24- “Little Boy.” Savy, concerned consumers are having an impact on the producing of redemptive and/or family-friendly movies and television for the good of the general culture.