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Need something to watch tonight or for your next movie evening? There are many options out there, and many are entertaining. But, sometimes a funny, scary, or a boy-meets-girl movie is not enough. If you want entertainment that engages you, makes you think, and actively builds up your faith — look no further. These two movies and one new eight-episode show introduce you to Jesus himself, and a male and female model of sanctity.
This new series about the life of Jesus is very different from every film about Christ that has come before. The stories and people of the Gospels truly come to life in a new way, and the actor who plays Jesus is incredible. Most of the time when Jesus is portrayed on film, He doesn’t seem very human. His face shines, or he speaks in a strange, otherworldly way. Jesus in the movie The Passion is more human, but He is suffering for the whole movie, so you don’t get to experience the non-suffering, “normal” time of His life. But, in this show, Jesus is very human, and in the best way. The dialogue, storyline, direction, and acting here is so good that you will find yourself wanting to watch the next episode immediately after you finish the last one. (Fair warning for parents: the first episode may be scary for younger children since it depicts demonic possession.) This show may help you to pray with Scripture in a whole new way.
This movie is about a priest, Monsignor Hugh O’Flaherty, who lives at the Vatican during WWII and devotes his energy to hiding refugees from the Nazis in Rome. Made in 1983, it stars Gregory Peck and is based on a true story. Christopher Plummer (the Captain from The Sound of Music) plays Monsignor O’Flahery’s nemesis — the Nazi who’s in charge of rounding up and imprisoning the refugees who come to Rome. If you’re in the mood for some suspense, this is it. The quick-witted Monsignor always has a new plan to save every person in danger he comes across. It makes the quiet heroes of WWII come alive, and is so refreshing to see people of faith portrayed in a positive way.
This 2009 movie explores the life of a great 12th-century saint and Doctor of the Church Hildegard of Bingen. She was a Benedictine nun and led her sisters as their abbess for much of her life. Not only was she a mystic and an incredible example of faith, she also composed music, wrote plays, wrote extensively on medicine and botany, and even created her own language.The movie is in German with subtitles, and offers a good overview of her life. If you’re not very familiar with this great saint, definitely take the time to check out her story. It’s not a perfect movie, and has a few things I would change to make it a more objective portrait, but overall, it’s definitely a good introduction to her life, and it inspired me to learn more about her.
If you have any suggestions for thought-provoking, faith-affirming movies to watch, let me know! If I’m going to commit to a movie or show, I want it to be worth it. Happy watching!