Rekindling the Intellectual, Spiritual, Creative legacy of Christians in Culture

Gold Medallion By any account Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was a wake up call for Hollywood. Combining what Gibson called art and what evangelicals saw as an evangelistic opportunity, Hollywood saw the potential for faith-fueled films. Into the gap stepped billionaire Phillip Anshutz with his Walden Films. Fox launched Faith Movies and got behind movies like One Night with the King. Armed with vision a $100,000 budget and amateur actors, Sherwood Baptist produced Facing the Giants (FTG), which when partnered with some marketing muscle of Christians in Nashville and a widespread grassroots marketing campaign has already generated $5 Million in Box Office. But Facing the Giants also became the center of a firestorm within the faith community itself, revealing a division pitting those who believe the art and craft of the film is as important as family and faith friendly content against those who seem willing to forgive substandard moviemaking if the film is made by Christians or honors faith and family. So while FTG is making money and Christian marketers are urging the faith community to support this film, it languishes with a 7% positive rating by film critics at rotten tomato and less than 17% by Christian film critics. Our subject is Facing the Giants: Film and Faith. Why Art and Craft Matter. Our guests are film critics Michael Medved and Stephan Ulstein and film producer Jennie Spohr.

2 Responses

  1. Two examples of films that transcend the intent of the director – “The Big Chill” & “Dead Man Walking” – are they more or less “successful” because they didn’t fulfill the filmaker’s goal?

  2. Do you think “The Last Temptation of Christ” would be received differently if released today? Or is the bulk of the religious film market looking for a specific kind of interpretation of scripture?

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