I’ve talked about movies several times on this blog.
I’ve discussed mainstream Hollywood movies with spiritual themes, movies that find unique ways to talk about God, and even looked at how scary movies may get closer to describing religious ideas than other genres do.
This time, I’d like to recommend a few movies written or directed by people who described themselves as Christians, but you wouldn’t necessarily think of as Christian films. These movies talk about faith, spirituality and God without being preachy, and often hit on spiritual ideas in surprising new ways.
Here are three such movies:
1. The Exorcist (1973)
I’ve mentioned this film before in a post on horror films with spiritual themes.
Screenwriter William Peter Blatty (who also wrote the novel the movie is based on) said that he never really planned The Exorcist to be scary.
His plan was to write a “a supernatural detective story that was filled with suspense with theological overtones.”
That description actually fits the story pretty well. The plot has plenty of scary moments, but everything that happens to the possessed girl revolves around the question “Do demons actually exist?” If so, that raises questions about how anyone can possible defeat a demon. Which ultimately leads to the realization that only belief in God (an act of faith) can possible stop demons.
As Blatty would put it, “If there were demons… then why not angels? Why not God?”
2. Braveheart (1995)
Written by Randall Wallace (who would later write a fascinating spiritual development book based on the movie’s themes), this film revolves around questions about honor and family.
What does it mean to be a good father or a good son?
What does it mean to fight for what’s right as opposed to just fighting because you can?
What does it mean to have honor in life?
3. Dr. Strange (2016)
Co-written and directed by Scott Derrickson (who’s talked on a variety of occasions about his faith influences his filmmaking) this film presents something you don’t see much superhero movies: a story about humility.
Stephen Strange starts out as a self-absorbed, self-reliant man who doesn’t need religion at all. But in order to get the healing he desires, he needs to open his mind to the fact he’s much smaller than he thinks he is.
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