The Lights, Camera … Faith! A Movie Lectionary book series by Peter Malone, MSC with Rose Pacatte, FSP, explores movies that highlight themes or issues emphasized in the Gospel. The books propose practical points for reflection, conversation and personal growth, […]
The Lost Gods is a new DVD series from the Smithsonian about the earliest ideas about God. Filmed in 11 countries and hosted by Christy Kenneally, it explores the concepts of God as understood by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Incas, […]
I last wrote about the superb documentary At the Death House Door when I interviewed its subject, Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville. The film was […]
Television viewers have been inspired and captivated by Sunday School teacher Ruby Gettinger, a woman who is putting her weight loss journey on television in a reality show. Once over 700 pounds, she is now down to 500 and sticking […]
In the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still, a spaceship landed in front of the Washington Monument to warn the people of earth that they were on the path to destruction. The problem then was the Cold […]
A new website is assembling beautifully produced short films to touch the heart and inspire the spirit. Spirit Clips was created by Oscar-winning producer Rob Fried (“Rudy”) to create unique high-quality content and an online community dedicated to sharing inspirational […]
Please take a moment to watch the short films from Charter for Compassion, a group founded on the golden rule that links all religions. And then add your thoughts on their list of the eight core elements of compassion.
Steve Russo, author of Wildcats in the House: Spiritual Stuff You Can Get From High School Musical, has given Beliefnet 10 Biblical lessons from “High School Musical,” like relying on faith, gratitude for God’s gifts, and keeping your priorities clear.
Speaking of Disney’s HSM juggernaut, Faith Fims’ new DVD release “Sunday School Musical” is out this week. I have not seen it yet, but the trailer is very appealing. I love church choirs!
This week’s releases include some very spiritual themes. W. shows us the 43rd President’s decision to let his life be guided by God, his lessons from a spiritual advisor, and his participation in Bible study. The Secret Life of Bees […]
The Washington Post reports that a new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie for CBS called “Unorthodox” is currently filming in Washington DC: Great to see Hollywood getting into spirituality! The crew that set up Wednesday on Georgetown’s Cambridge Place for […]
Be sure to check out this terrific Beliefnet gallery from Mark I. Pinsky on the best Simpsons episodes about religions. It includes “Like Father, Like Clown” (written with the help of three rabbis, about Krusty the Clown’s exploration of his […]
Best wishes for our Muslim friends on this holy celebration.
The faith-based film Fireproof, starring Kirk Cameron, is enjoying impressive advance ticket sales this week according to Harry Medved of Fandango. It is the story of a firefighter who finds that his most difficult challenge is finding a way to […]
A little-seen 1933 film called “Gabriel Over the White House” has some themes that are particularly resonant in this time of unprecedented economic uncertainty and this historic Presidential campaign. Walter Houston (father of director John Huston and grandfather of actress […]
The AV Geeks have an amazing archive of “film ephemera,” of over 20,000 little odds and ends (mostly odds) that have been retrieved from warehouses, garbage dumps, and thrift shops. It’s like seeing our culture through the eyes of an […]
I was privileged to attend the very first showing of the upcoming film “Not Easily Broken,” based on the book by the Bishop T. D. Jakes and starring three of my favorite performers, Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, and Jennifer […]
Four Christian stand-up comics join forces in this performance film that combines hilarious commentary on all of the absurdities of life with very touching glimpses of the men at home and their fellowship with each other. Anthony Griffith, Brad Stine, […]
The Washington Post Metro section has an article about a pastor who uses movies to bring spiritual lessons to his congregation. For a special series of sermons this summer, Senior Pastor Rob Seagears at Christ Chapel Mountaintop in Prince William […]
A timely story, some welcome complexity, and a compelling performance elevate this story of terrorism above the usual bang-bang. Don Cheadle plays Samir, a person of interest being tracked by the authorities for his possible involvement in terrorist activities. He […]
August is usually the time of the movie year for silly gross-out comedies, cheaply-made slasher films, and studio inventory they never found the right time to release. And Hollywood is usually very uncomfortable dealing with spiritual themes or religion as […]
The great “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” animated series has three new releases today: Adventures in Faith, Adventures in Honesty and Adventures in Courage. These are classic stories that have thrilled audiences through the ages because they are about […]
The magazine published by the American Bar Association has assembled a list of the 25 best movies about the law, with another 25 on the list of runners-up. I am a lawyer from a family of lawyers and we all […]
My good friend Brandon Fibbs has a characteristically thoughtful review in Christianity Today of a new documentary called Lord Save Us From Your Followers from writer-director Dan Merchant. Merchant’s documentary turns on a deceptively simple question: Why is the gospel […]
Celebrate the 90th birthday this week of one of history’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, with one of the fine films about his extraordinary perseverance, vision, courage, and leadership. The story of the massive social change he achieved without violence is […]
Kavanah is a documentary production company dedicated to creating films on Jewish themes to be used in educational settings. It was established by Lauren Shweder Biel, a Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology at New York University. The word “kavanah” means “intention,” […]
This week, both versions of the Faustian comedy Bedazzled are being released in one DVD and both are worth watching. The 1967 original, directed by Stanley Donen (“Singin’ in the Rain”) and starring British comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley […]
Women & Spirituality is a three-part series about the power of the sacred feminine in mythological, historical and cultural contexts. Part 1, Goddess Remembered, examines goddess-based pre-historic societies, linking the loss of goddess-centered societies to environmental degradation. The second, The […]
At the Death House Door is an extraordinary documentary from the makers of “Hoop Dreams.” It is the story of Pastor Carroll Pickett, who served 15 years as the death house chaplain to the infamous “Walls” prison unit in Huntsville. […]
Oscar-winner Helen Hunt returns to the screen in the upcoming “Then She Found Me,” adapted from the book by Elinor Lipman. Hunt not only stars — she co-wrote and directed the film, which is about a teacher who tries to […]
The fist Pangea Day was every bit as heart-warming, inspiring, and thrilling as I had hoped. I was privileged to participate at the Epicenter Church, a new Christian Faith Community located in Rosslyn, Virginia, just across the Potomac River from […]
Joseph Campbell believed there was “one great story of mankind” and he spent his life collecting the great myths and parables of world cultures and religions and showing us the connections between them. His work has influenced everyone from Hollywood […]
Charlton Heston, who died this morning at age 84, had the screen presence for larger than life, heroic roles, and often appeared in films with religious themes. He will be best remembered for his Oscar-winning performance as Ben-Hur and for […]
Writer/director Jules Dassin died this week at age 96. He is perhaps most fondly remembered as a key figure in establishing the genres of film noir (Naked City) and the heist film (Topkapi and “Rififi”) and for the marvelous Never […]
Ilana Trachtman found the subject of her documentary, “Praying with Lior,” at Rosh Hashanah services. Lior has Down syndrome. His devotion to prayer has inspired the members of his close and loving Jewish community in Philadelphia. But the movie is […]
Rotten Tomatoes has a new list of movies that feature God. Not long ago, Beliefnet had its own list of memorable portrayals of God in the movies and television. I contributed a brief commentary on one of my favorites, Howie […]
This quiet little independent film is the story of the friendship between two New York City schoolteachers, an Orthodox Jew and a Muslim, who transcend the assumptions of those around them. They quickly realize that they have more in common […]
They finally got Dr. Seuss right in this warm-hearted and heart-warming story of the elephant who is “faithful 100 percent” and the world on a little speck of dust that he rescues. Jim Carrey provides the voice of Horton, an […]
Craig Detweiler and John Marks have known each other for twenty-five years. When they roomed together as sophomores at Davidson College, they were devout Christians. It was Craig’s first year in the faith, John’s last. After college, they parted ways, […]
Beliefnet’s Kris Rasmussen has a list of 10 positive Christian characters in recent films. I was pleased to see Amy Adams’ performance in Junebug included, though for me the most spiritually touching moment in the movie was when Alessandro Nivola, […]
The anniversary of the shrine at Lourdes is a good reminder of the lovely performance of Jennifer Jones in “Song of Bernadette,” the story of the young girl who saw “a beautiful lady” and became Saint Bernadette Soubirous.
A 1940 film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable and set in a penal colony is an improbable candidate for Biblical allegory, but Strange Cargo is a moving film that draws its power from an inspiring, Christ-like figure and its […]
Be sure to check out the new Beliefnet Discussion Group on the Best Spiritual Films of last year and let us hear about the movies that inspired and nourished you.
In honor of the 2012 Olympics in London, this 1981 classic and winner of the Oscar for Best Picture has been reissued. This is the true story of two athletes who raced in the 1924 Olympics, one a privileged Jewish […]