Why Faith Based Films Exist
Why are faith based films important? Why do they even exist? We have enough choices in entertainment right….sports, action movies, television dramas, comedies, we can even open up YouTube and have a never ending stream of videos bombard us with every topic or DIY video you can think of…so why in this world…more over how in this world could a movie like I Can Only Imagine be a breakout success and do over $83Million at the box office? The theme was overtly Christian, Bart Millard suffers abuse from his father…his father becomes terminally ill, but they both find redemption through Jesus Christ as Bart writes the hit song “I Can Only Imagine” as the lead singer in the Christian band MercyMe. It could be way to easy to say something like, “that movie was pretty corny,” or “what a bunch of Jesus freaks,” but the truth is it did amazingly at the box office and it reached a wide audience…but why…and how?
I’d like to think, and this is one man’s opinion, that our world still has a desire…it still has a God shaped hole in its heart that resonates with good. Yes, of course all the ingredients in the movie making process have to work in tandem and be executed at the highest level…great source material, great writers, a great script, a phenomenal crew, wonderful actors, a visionary director, world class cinematography, impeccable editing, great post production, sound design, foley, color correction, marketing, PR, you name it…it all has to work in sync…and that’s not even counting two things that we can’t control…timing of the market and LUCK. But even with all those things, I still ask myself the question, “Once people get to the theater or sit in front of their tv to watch a film like this, why did they like it? Why did they talk about it? Why did they leave that place feeling inspired, better humans, want to go change the world, write a song, hug their dads, or a plethora of other great emotions?” The answer, I believe, lies deep within the craft of storytelling. Jesus taught using parables…essentially stories. We, as a human race, have a desire to connect with other people..characters…to see them interact, but more importantly to analyze their choices, their journey, and to assign and pull out meanings that we can apply to our own lives.
It’s for this reason that movies like I Can Only Imagine seem to be able to guide us through a journey and to remind us that there is essentially HOPE and GOOD in the world, and that Hope and Goodness comes in the form of a savior…a savior named Jesus. I believe that subconsciously a movie like I Can Only Imagine works because it resonates what we all know deep inside…the truth. It points us to our creator and inspires us to be better. So for those of us open to hearing the message, we resonate with it and believe it, and for those that rebel and are closed off from the truth…they vehemently oppose it because it’s in direct conflict with their nature. Why are faith based films important? Because they are our tool to get in the FIGHT, to remind people of their true nature, to point people to the only true GOOD in the World and to inspire, uplift, and encourage. I can’t imagine, and I truly don’t want to, a world where we sit back and keep our voices silent…where we stop encouraging people, where we stop pointing people to Christ, where we get overrun with stories in the world that are antithetical to our nature…I personally will not let that day happen while I’m still here on earth and I hope if you’re reading this that you won’t either.
- Jason Brown