Being an honest religious person means that you can criticize your own side. Anyone who knows me in my personal life or even solely through this blog knows that I like film. As a person of faith, I want to admit that faith based films in recent years have been absolutely terrible. It’s gotten to the point that good faith based films are not even associated with the Christian film industry such as Silence or Hacksaw Ridge.
Obviously the best faith based movie ever made was The Passion of the Christ directed by devout Catholic Mel Gibson. Gibson also made Hacksaw Ridge which is another great faith based film. Mel can’t do it all. We need others to step up to the plate. We can’t let God’s Not Dead, The Young Messiah or Exodus: God and Kings be the movies that the faith based community gives to the world.
Pure Flix Entertainment has done a couple of decent films but ultimately hasn’t been able to get past the God’s Not Dead image. However, films like I’m Not Ashamed show that they can make good movies when they want to.
Theologically, I like to turn to Scripture and Tradition. This is no different when it comes to film. There is an entire treasure chest of movie ideas waiting to be put on the big screen. A few years ago, there was talk of Mel Gibson making a movie about the Maccabean Revolt but it didn’t seem to go anywhere. Movies about Saints of the Church should be looked into as well. A Man for all Seasons was a great faith based film based on the life of a holy Saint.
The Battle of Lepanto is another example of where a movie can be made. Unfortunately companies like Pure Flix Entertainment are not Catholic and are probably not interested in this rich Catholic history. They simply want to make modern movies. It’s a shame since we’re not living in the glory days of Christianity. There is no equivalent of St. Francis of Assisi alive today.
The most ironic part of this is that this is a time when faith based films could make a comeback. Moonlight won best picture this year. I’ve seen six of the nine Oscar movies nominated for best picture and Moonlight was by far the worst. Hacksaw Ridge didn’t win probably because Mel Gibson’s name is so blackened by his past actions. This only means that more people need to step up. It really bothers me as a Christian that we’ve essentially given the arts over to the secular liberals. It even seems that it happened without a fight.
Faith based films can win again. Mel has proven it and past films have proven it as well. The most important thing that people of faith need to remember is that we can look to Scripture and Tradition. We have more than enough good ideas for movies. Here are some movies that I’d like to see:
– The Battle of Lepanto
– The Siege of Rhodes
– The Maccabean Revolt
– The life of Pius IX and the fall of the Papal States
– The life of St. Francis of Assisi
– Life and events in Jerusalem leading up to the destruction of the first Temple
If you have any ideas for a good faith based movie, feel free to share them in the comments below.