Christian millennials in documentary say they have been lied to about Israel — Charles Gardner

A Fatah representative addresses the millennial study tour group in front of a security wall

‘There is no occupation,’ Arab pastor tells shocked young tourists

An international group of millennials have seen the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a new light after engaging with both sides – and being shocked by what they discovered.

A party of eleven young people from seven nations were brought together for the chance to understand issues from the point of view of those living there.

They were deliberately not primed to view things from any particular perspective in order to allow them to form their own conclusions through interviews and talks with representatives of both Israelis and Palestinians.

Their three-week trip was recorded on film for a feature-length documentary called Quest for Truth, now available on YouTube (See below).

It was produced by Generation 2 Generation, a UK-based organisation founded by Andrew, Daniella and Daphne Kirk committed to inspiring the next generation with an uncompromising passion for Jesus and the gospel.

The group – from Germany, the USA, the UK, Norway, Japan, Brazil and South Africa – were introduced to community leaders in the Palestinian territories as well as in Israel itself.

A South African education student, Bongi, was among the study tour group.

Not surprisingly, most of them are strongly influenced by social media which generally portrays a narrative of Israel as big bullies of an oppressed people. Media bias had shaped their perception of the conflict, and they were profoundly shocked to discover that the truth was very different.

“I’ve been lied to,” said one. “You realise how false these stories are,” said another.

The Deputy Mayor of Bethlehem, Essam Juha, was forced to explain why a swastika was inscribed into the fabric of the hotel where they met him. He said it was because Israel had humiliated nations in the same way they had been treated.

“It was so hard for me to keep a straight face,” said Marlea, from New Orleans. “How dare they make that comparison (with the Holocaust)?”

After hearing how Palestinians see the Israelis as occupiers of their land, they were taken aback by the response of Arab pastor, Naim Khoury, who asked: “What occupation?” And as he turned towards the windows, he added: “Where is the occupation? We are completely under the Palestinian Authority.”

The point was further brought home by a member of the group, who observed: “I have not seen one IDF (Israeli Defence Force) soldier, or Israeli flag.” They also learnt that the throwing of rocks – and even Molotov cocktails – at Israeli soldiers is seen by Fatah, the PA’s ruling party, as non-violent activity.

A further learning curve involved meeting Col Danny Tirza, architect of the notorious security wall built to keep out terrorists, who said he wanted to be the first to begin taking it down when peace finally came. But in the meantime the murder rate from terrorism had been cut by 90%. He said that those whose land had been split by the wall – only five per cent of which is concrete; the rest being a much more discreet wire fence – are offered compensation, but refuse to accept it for fear of being labelled collaborators.

Graffiti on the wall betrays the true ambition of Palestinian agitators, with a map showing all of geographical Israel as theirs. They have no wish to share the land, or establish a state beside Israel. They want all of it. As historian Dr Michael Brown put it: “If the Palestinians put down their weapons there’d be no more war; if Israel put down their weapons, there’d be no more Israel.”

An ex-IDF soldier said: “They use our moral standards against us.” As an example, he explained how a terrorist suspect fled to a crowded residential area, knowing they wouldn’t open fire if civilians were at risk. And when the military had the place surrounded, the fugitive duly appeared on the roof in a bid to escape, at which point they shot him in the leg. But while supporting medics were bandaging him up, the soldiers were pelted with huge rocks. Israelis risk death because of the great value they place on life.

Further observations on the Palestinians included – “They are victims of their own hatred” and “They are suffering a lot because of radical people in their community.”
In the southern city of Sderot, meanwhile, a rocket-proof playground has had to be built for children so that, when sirens warn of regular incoming missiles from Hamas in nearby Gaza, the kids have an immediate bolt-hole.

The youngsters hear from Israeli-supporting Stand with Us representative Shevy Kass on a visit to Sderot.

The group also visited Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust museum where a tearful young British woman, Megan, was visibly shocked by the way her country – in charge of the region then known as Palestine – closed the doors to Jews trying to escape Nazi-occupied Europe. And on the question of Israel practicing apartheid – a charge widely disseminated by the liberal left – she added: “I haven’t seen any evidence of it.”

Dr Brown emphasised the need for Israel’s self-defence by saying that anti-Semitic levels are as high now as they were immediately before the Holocaust. A Brazilian member added: “I believe the biggest reason for anti-Semitism is lack of knowledge.” And a German youth said: “The greatest enemy of anti-Semitism is the truth.”




Filmmaker Darren Wilson announces new film, tour

Originally published in Charisma News

Darren Wilson is ready to move back to the big screen. While he has spent the last three years creating two television shows (Adventures With God, Questions With God), he always knew his legacy would be tied to the feature films from his company, WP Films (Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, Holy Ghost, Holy Ghost Reborn). He also knew that something would be radically different about his next film, Finger of God 2. Namely, that he wouldn’t be the director this time around.

“When I made the decision to move forward with Finger 2 a few years ago, I knew I couldn’t be the director,” Wilson says. “To me it wouldn’t have been authentic, because when I made the first Finger 10 years ago, I was in a wildly different place spiritually than I am now. I don’t have the same questions now that I did back then. So I wanted to find someone who thought like me, but was maybe at a different stage of their journey than I was to make this a true spiritual sequel to the first one.”

Asking big questions
That someone turned out to be Will Hacker, a former pastor who befriended Darren when they both lived in Chicago a few years ago. At the time, Will was a pastor at Harvest Bible Chapel, an evangelical megachurch founded by James MacDonald, but he and Darren bonded over their shared frustration that much of the church in the West is not living up to its full potential, as well as a kinship for asking big questions that most churches conveniently ignore.

“When I first heard of Darren, many in my evangelical community were a little suspicious of him and his films, but when I watched them, something inside me came alive — I wanted a faith like this,” says Hacker, who left Harvest to pursue filmmaking with Wilson. “But where Darren started in a place asking, ‘Are miracles real?’ I was already past that point, because I knew miracles were real. For me, the bigger question was, OK, well, what’s the point of it all? What’s the point of miracles? Is it to be like Jesus? Is it for salvation? Is it something else? And that was really my jumping-off point for this film.”

Finger of God 2 is the first film from WP Films not directed by Darren Wilson, but his hand is clearly on the film. “I was heavily involved with Will from day 1,” Wilson comments. “It’s a steep learning curve, making these kind of movies, and my job was to kind of help guide him in the right direction, but also let him have his own full adventure, make his own mistakes and also have his own successes.” Darren and Will worked closely in deciding where Will would film, and even closer in the post-production process of putting the story together. But the actual filming around the world was done completely by Hacker. The result is a film that definitely carries the feel of a WP movie, but also has certain differences.

“When you watch this movie, it feels both familiar, but also slightly different,” says Wilson. “My movies mirror my personality, which is kind of … well let’s just say I don’t mind if I agitate people a little bit. I want to poke you spiritually, maybe show you things that are slightly uncomfortable, in an effort to get you thinking. Will’s film has a more pastoral feel to it. You can tell this is coming from a guy who really wants to teach his audience as much as he wants to entertain them.”

US tour and official release
The release of Finger of God 2 is by far the most ambitious for WP Films, with a tour of 36 cities in three months before the official release of the film to the public on December 4. It will begin in Miami on September 1 and will work its way across the country until it ends in Redding, California, on December 3.

“Since Father of Lights, we’ve always taken our films out on tour in some way, because there’s really no better way to experience these movies than seeing them in a church with hundreds, sometimes thousands of people,” explains Wilson. “But in the past, my limitation has always been time, mixed in with the fact that I’m pretty introverted, so they’re hard on me. Will is about as extroverted as you get, so he’s excited to meet as many people as he can on the road. Plus, this is just a great movie, and we want as many people to see it as possible in a live setting.”

Aside from the official tour, churches around the country can also sign up to have their own “tour stop” during the touring window, something WP is calling its “Friends Tour”. Any church, of any size, can show the film anytime they want between September 10 and December 3. They simply sign up at the official website, choose their date, choose a tour package and that’s it. “Ultimately, we want hundreds of churches across the country showing this thing, hitting every community with the love of God,” says Hacker. “As a pastor, that’s what I want more than anything. For people to encounter God in a real, tangible way.”

For those outside the US, or in areas where a tour stop is not available, the filmmakers are offering a sneak peek, making the movie available to rent for a small fee on October 6, where it will be available to watch for 24 hours.

Watch the Finger of God 2 trailer below:

To find out more about Finger of God 2, including the tour or sneak peek, visit the official website at fingerofgod2.com.

To find out more about Darren and his movies and TV shows, visit wpfilms.com.

WP Films was founded by Darren Wilson in 2006 when he began work on what would become his first feature-length film, Finger of God. The company currently concentrates on reality filmmaking and asking big questions about God and faith.




‘Show Dogs’ age classification decision awaited

A scene from the controversial ‘Show Dogs’movie due for release in South Africa on July 6.

The jury is still out on a possible adjustment of the age classification of the movie ‘Show Dogs’ which launches in South Africa tomorrow (Friday July 6 2018), a spokesman for the Film and Publications Board said today.

“We are yet to receive update from the office of the minister,” said Nthabiseng May, Manager Operations and Client Support of the FPB, in reply to a query from Gateway News about the 7-9 PG LV-rated movie which justice NGO Cause For Justice (CFJ) says may contain scenes that groom young children for sexual abuse.

Following action by CFJ, the Minister of Communications Pinky Kekana has said she will appeal the age classification, and the movie’s distributors Filmfinity have agreed to provide CFJ with a private screening to verify whether or not the problematic scenes have been removed.

The scenes were supposed to have been removed after child sexual grooming concerns were raised in the US but there have been reports that they are still in the movie.

Earlier this week Ryan Smit executive director and legal counsel of CFJ said they were expecting to view the film today. He was positive about new opportunities to work with media distributors in the best interests of South Africa’s children.




Made-in-SA ‘Sampson’ movie not to be missed — Movie Review

By Andrea D Combs, Africa Christian Action

“…for behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. No razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb, and he shall begin to save Israel from the hand of the Philistines.” Samson 13:5

It’s a story many of us grew up hearing. It’s the story of a man with unusually long hair, set apart, chosen by God, and given the gift of extraordinary strength. He was a Nazirite who had to live by a different set of rules: never to drink any wine, touch a dead body, or shave his head. We all know him by the name of Samson, and his story has just been brought to the screen unlike ever before.

Pure Flix (producer of God’s Not Dead) has just released the movie Samson, which gives us a unique glimpse into one of the most legendary narratives of the Bible, found in Judges 13-16. The film is filled with exciting drama and plenty of action sequences.

The story begins with the Hebrews under the tyrannical rule of the Philistines. Samson is the champion, divinely chosen by God to deliver the people of Israel from their oppressors. Armed with herculean strength, Samson is keenly aware of his calling, and yet he is reluctant to accept the life God has for him. His brother, Caleb, continually encourages and reminds him of his purpose in an attempt to keep him focused on his life’s mission. His physical proclivities do land him in trouble time and time again with the Philistines, however.

King Balek and his psychopathic son, Rallah, demand inflated tributes from the Hebrews, diminishing their personal provisions nearly to the point of starvation. Anyone who attempts to fight back is promptly put in his, or her, place.

Samson meets and falls for a Philistine woman named Taren. Determined to make her his wife, Samson decides to go against his parents’ emphatic wishes to marry a Hebrew woman. Persuaded by his implicit mistress, Delilah, Rallah chooses to give Samson his blessing to marry Taren so that he may have control over his Hebrew nemesis. During the wedding feast, Samson and Rallah enter into a duel of riddles, which ultimately stirs Rallah to threaten Samson’s new bride. Samson is led to kill 30 Philistines in an effort to protect his wife, but Rallah reacts by killing Taren and thus breaks Samson’s heart.

The hostility between Samson and his Philistine foe only escalates from there. Rallah murders Samson’s father, Monoah, just before attempting to behead Samson. Filled with rage, the resilient Hebrew breaks free and kills 1 000 Philistine soldiers with the jawbone of a donkey as his weapon. The story only gets more intense when Delilah later seduces Samson to reveal the secret to his otherworldly strength.

We all know how the real life story ends, but the movie’s interpretation is pretty incredible and unlike any you would have seen before.

After having the privilege of previewing this impressive film, one cannot help but go back to Judges 13-16 to reread the story of Samson. As one might have come to expect in the portrayal of a biblical epic, creative liberties were taken in the writing of this story.

Most notably, the Samson depicted in this film is far more likeable than the one depicted in the Bible. The Samson in the Bible appears generally unrepentant and arrogant, spending much of his life ignoring God’s clear call and, instead, chooses to live recklessly. He would visit brothels, shamelessly spending the night with women he didn’t know. One of the only prayers recorded in the story of Samson involves him asking God to give him strength that he might have vengeance for a wrong done to himself – not to God.

The man in this film, by contrast, has moments of sincere humility where he goes to God in prayer, pleading Him for strength that he may give God the glory. He is tricked into going into a brothel but is incensed when he realises the nature of the inn he’s been led to. He doesn’t spend the night with prostitutes. He is also ultimately repentant and realises that he’s only ever seen things through his own eyes, rather than through God’s. It seems the film made their version of Samson into more of the hero we wish he could have been. This may be justified by how Samson is included in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11:32-34.

On the note of character development, Delilah is not represented as the conniving, heartless woman we read in the book of Judges. Instead, she’s seen as a woman of character and conviction. You find yourself almost liking her and believing she truly loves and cares for Samson.

A key protagonist in this film is Prince Rallah, the Philistine Commander. While his character is fictitious, he serves a very important role in personifying the oppression of the Philistines over the Hebrew people.

The Bible makes it clear that Samson’s mother was barren and unable to have children, which made the prophecy and birth of Samson an absolute miracle. It seems a bit of a stretch to include a brother in the story, and yet Caleb does serve as a moral compass for Samson throughout the film. As there are very few details surrounding the story of Samson, one cannot blame the writers for wanting to fill in the gaps.

If you’re debating whether or not to see the new Samson movie, let me help you make your decision. This is a film you do not want to miss. Samson was produced locally with a cast that includes more than 30 South African actors. Despite a few faux beards, the cast played their roles brilliantly and made us believe they were exactly who they portrayed. You’ll be transported back into biblical times and feel as if you’re actually there. Samson offers a strong Christian worldview that clearly presents the God of Israel as the “Living God.” One note of warning would be toward the violence in the movie. They definitely dial it back for the big screen, but caution is advised for younger members of the family.

Samson is in cinemas country-wide from today, June 8. For more information, visit – www.samsonmovie.co.za




Pastor Phiri’s show ‘The Journey’ finds new home on Moja Love channel

Pastor Enoch Phiri interviews Benjamin Dube during a past screening of ‘The Journey’. (PHOTO: Youtube screenshot).

The Journey, a show in which televangelist and Restoration Ministries founder Pastor Enoch Phiri interviews South African celebrities about their walk with God and how they overcame obstacles while pursuing their goals, has found a new home on Moja Love TV.

The black-owned TV station — on DSTV channel 157 —  which was launched on February 14 this year, focuses on the theme of love.

The show, which won a Crown Gospel award in the Best Tv Show category last year, informs and inspires ordinary South Africans that despite their current negative situation, they would make it if they remain true to themselves and to their creator, says Phiri’s publicist in a media release.

On the show, Phiri speaks to actors, radio and TV personalities, sports personalities, academicians, politicians, and other personalities who have made it to the top against all odds.

Phiri says:” Stories told by high-profile personalities inspire us as a community that if they overcame those obstacles they faced, we too can overcome them through Christ who strengthens us.”

The Journey screens on Mondays at 6.30 pm, on Wednesdays at 7.30 pm and on Thursdays at 5pm.




Inspirational ‘I Can Only Imagine’ movie launching in SA

No screenings in Eastern Cape

South African moviegoers in many parts of the country will soon be able to see I Can Only Imagine, a critically-acclaimed film based on the true story behind the number-one-played radio single in Christian music.

The Erwin Brothers’ film about the story behind Mercy Me lead singer Bart Millard’s redemptive relationship with his troubled father — which was the inspiration behind the Christian rock band’s hit song I Can Only Imagine — grossed a staggering R213-million at the US box office in its opening weekend,  ranking third overall behind Tomb Raider and Black Panther.

The movie opens in South Africa on May 11 and there will be sneak previews at a number of Ster Kinekor cinemas around the country. But unfortunately for audiences in the Eastern Cape it appears that either Ster Kinekor or theatre management at individual cinemas decided not to preview or release the movie in Port Elizabeth, East London or anywhere else in the province.

Asked about the exclusion of the Eastern Cape, Celeste La Mantia of public relations company MS Publicity said as far as she knew individual movie houses selected movies they believed would do well with their target audiences. Later she also sent Gateway News the following somewhat puzzling response from distributors Ster Kinekor to the Eastern Cape question: “It is a Ster Kinekor decision.  Ster Kinekor will only hosted the influencers screening on 12 April and then the screenings in conjunction with media partners on 9 May.”

Perhaps it is time for Eastern Cape viewers — and viewers in any other excluded areas — who would like to see quality faith-based films to let their local cinemas know?

The idea for the I Can Only Imagine song was inspired by Millard’s past and was written years after finally overcoming his abusive childhood. It immediately resonated with audiences of all ages, became an instant top-selling hit, won Songwriter Of The Year and Song Of The Year at the Dove Awards and was certified as a double platinum selling Christian song.

“We were making an independent record, and we needed one more song. And I was literally just trying to find a blank page [in my journal], and every page had the words ‘I Can Only Imagine’ written on it,” shares Bart. “So it was kinda like, ‘I get it.’ I wrote the song on the bus one night. Even though it took about five or ten minutes to write, it had been in my heart for a really long time.”

Watch the Song here

I Can Only Imagine (the movie) tells the story of a little boy in Texas who is emotionally and physically abused by his father (Dennis Quaid) and abandoned by his mother. The abuse starts after his father suffers a brain injury due to an accident at work and becomes a monster who is unable to control his anger and disappointment with life. By the grace of God, Bart (John Michael Finley) and his father manage to redeem their relationship during his teenage years and he gets to witness the power of faith and transformation first-hand.

Watch the movie trailer here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt6450186/videoplayer/vi3335632921?ref_=tt_ov_vi

Broadway actor, John Michael Finley’s (Les Misérables, Sweeney Todd), makes his on-screen debut in the lead-role of Bart Millard in this emotional film. It was his booming voice that first drew filmmakers to cast him as this pivotal character. Interestingly, his background proved to connect him even more to the role.

“I was born in Arkansas and grew up in southern Missouri, so I had that Midwest mentality,” says Finley. “Bart and I both had early life events that made us grow up real fast. And I connect with the way Bart uses humour to deflect other people,” Finley said.

Acclaimed actor, Dennis Quaid (The Right Stuff, Breaking Away, The Parent Trap, Far From Heaven) plays Arthur, Bart’s father, who saw his dreams dashed and strives to protect his son from similar disappointment, even if it means having no dreams at all. The film also boasts impressive performances by model and television star, Madeline Carroll, in the role of Millard’s wife Shannon as well as Golden Globe Winner, Cloris Leachman (A Brand New Life, Malcolm in the Middle), as Memaw.

 

Sneak previews to the public are taking place on Sunday April 29 at the following Ster-Kinekor cinemas (bookings available on www.sterkinekor.com): Tygervalley, Cape Gate, Blueroute, Somerset Mall, Garden Route Mall, Gateway, Mall of Africa, Cradlestone, Matlosana Mall, Brooklyn Mall, Kolonnade, Irene Mall, Cresta, Mall at Carnival and Eastgate.

The film officially opens in South Africa on 11 May at the following cinemas:

Ster Kinekor:
Cape Region: Tygervalley, Cape Gate, Blueroute, Somerset Mall, Garden Route Mall

KZN Region: Gateway

Northern Region: Mall Of Africa, Cradlestone, Matlosana, Brooklyn Commercial, Kolonnade, Irene

Southern Region: Cresta, Mall Of Carnival, Eastgate

Nu Metro: Canal Walk, Cornubia, Hyde Park, Menlyn Park, Pavilion, Westgate, Woodlands

Independent Sites: Epic Mall@Reds, Epic Northridge, Maxi Cineplex, Midlands Cine, Movies@Emnotweni, Movies@Monte, NC Game City, Suncoast Cine

 




Christian film ‘I Can Only Imagine’ is smashing success at the box office

Originally published in The Christian Mail

The recently-released Christian film I Can Only Imagine shocked critics this past weekend at the box office by bringing in $17.1 million even though it was only shown at 1 629 locations.

The film is based on the true story of the life of Bart Millard, the frontman of Christian band MercyMe. The film tells the story of how Millard came to write the smash hit I Can Only Imagine, which topped both Christian and secular music charts.

The film had been expected to bring in between $2 million and $8 million, but completely surpassed these estimates. Interestingly, it also finished just ahead of A Wrinkle in Time, a film that had been stripped of its Christian themes, as ChristianHeadlines.com previously reported.

“We knew that it was going to do well but we never expected a $17 million opening,” said Howard Cohen of Roadside Attractions-Lionsgate which produced the film. “We’re planning to be on well over 2 000 screens next weekend.”

Churches and Christian groups have also worked to promote the film and raise awareness of it. The members of MercyMe have also been promoting it on social media.

Variety.com reports that the film only costs $7 million to make, which makes its box office success even more remarkable.

The film stars J Michael Finley as Millard and Dennis Quaid as Millard’s father. I can only imagine opens in South African movie theatres in May.




TBN launches new African Christian channel

Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) has launched TBN Mzansi, a new African Christian channel that is available on Africa’s latest and second largest satellite service called Kwesé TV on channel 810.

Available from March 1, the new channel will reach countries across Africa “with authentic, quality and inspirational African Christian programming,” says TBN in a press release.

The new channel is under the stewardship of TBN in Africa and forms part of TBN’s global expansion strategy whose previous most recent addition was the Hillsong channel.

Since the re-launch of TBN in Africa in March 2016, TBN has been looking at expanding into different regions of Africa.

“Now that phase one of TBN in Africa’s 10-year strategy is complete, phase two is the roll out of TBN Mzansi, a
channel we are really excited about,” says Mr Lucky Mbiko, Managing Director of TBN in Africa.

For more information about how to connect to the Kwesé TV service, go to
www.kwese.com or go to www.tbnmzansi.org  for TBN Mzansi channel and content information.




‘Black Panther’ star gave up all for Christ — then landed biggest role of career

Letitia Wright (PHOTO: Screenshot via Faithwire).

Originally published in Faithwire

Black Panther is nothing short of a phenomenon. The latest installment in the wildly successful “Marvel” movie series, it has become the second-highest grossing four-day opening in movie history, raking in $242 million (R2.9-billion) . The film has been praised by critics and received a 97% rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes.

“A film that fulfills the most rote demands of superhero spectacle, yet does so with style and subtexts that feel bracingly, joyfully groundbreaking,” wrote Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post.

But even more remarkable than box-office records and glowing reviews is the story behind actress Letitia Wright, who plays T’Challa’s little sister, Shuri. Wright, who appeared on British talk show This Morning, talked about how she almost missed out on the role after hitting a crisis in her life, dumping acting and going on a search for God.

“I needed to take a break from acting because I really idolised it. So I came off from it and I went on a journey to discover my relationship with God, and I became a Christian,” Wright said in the interview aired on February 9.

“It really just gave me so much love and light within myself. I felt secure, like I didn’t need validation from anyone else, or from getting a part. My happiness wasn’t dependent on that, it was dependent on my relationship with God.”

At the very depths of her depression, the British actress ended up coming to Christ after attending a London actors’ Bible study. So convinced that she had to put God first, she even turned down an acting role that would have set her alongside Nicole Kidman and Elle Fanning.

“I remember God was like, to me, ‘Give up the job,’” the actress told Vanity Fair. “I can give you more than that; I just need you right now. Give up the job.”

Then, after laying down her own ambition and looking to the Lord, she was offered this gigantic role in Black Panther.

Letitia also explained how many of those in the entertainment are coming to know Jesus, and that the Christian community in Hollywood is an extremely supportive one.

“There’s a reason there are so many Christians in the limelight. A lot of young people who are in the creative industry are finding an avenue toward God now,” she said. “We’re all in the same path, we’re all in the same thing. But we all support each other, and love each other, and keep each other grounded, and keep each other positive.”

Now an international sensation and with a glittering career ahead of her, Wright just wants to be used as a vessel for the Lord. “Where I go, where He takes me, that’s where I need to spread the love of God,” she said in an earlier interview. “Because people’s souls are dying. My soul was dying, and He saved me. So I can’t keep this to myself … I fell in love with Jesus and I’m still in love. Amen.”




Moviewise — February 16 2018

moviewise

Pieter Pohl, founder of Innovation Films and marketing manager of CMD Entertainment Africa, sheds some light on the latest movies.

INSPIRING NEW MOVIES NOW ON DVD!
CMD Entertainment Africa brings you inspiring new movies on DVD this festive season. The Case for Christ, Return to the Hiding Place, I’m Not Ashamed, Joseph and Mary, Peter: The Redemption and a new animation series for kids — IESODO. Spend some quality family time together watching these thought-provoking, heart-warming and uplifting stories. Visit CUM Books and Takealot.com to get these fantastic DVD’s as gifts for your loved ones.

For more info visit www.cmdafrica.com

SUNDAY BLOCKBUSTER
(Sun February 18 ’18: MNET 101 20:30)

THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS
MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxhEZG0k9_w
13VL

Summary:
The Fate of the Furious, the eighth instalment in the famous franchise, has Dominic, the street racer turned government spy, betraying his team, including his wife Letty, because a hacker villain has leverage over him and needs his help stealing weapons of mass destruction. The Fate of the Furious ramps up the action and humour, and has a strong Christian, moral worldview with many overt, positive Christian elements, but also has lots of foul language, images of women in short shorts in one scene, and plenty of intense action violence, so strong caution is advised.

MOVIEGUIDE REVIEW — A Funnier, Even More Action-Packed, Emotional Entry with Lots of Heart”

The Fate of the Furious is the eighth instalment in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise, and like the previous movies, delivers exactly what fans of the franchise expect, lots of fast cars and ridiculous action. Like some of the recent sequels, however, there are some overt positive references to Christianity among the heroes.

Fate starts off after the events of Furious 7” where the filmmakers gave Brian O’Conner a proper farewell after actor Paul Walker’s tragic death. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) is enjoying a long-delayed honeymoon in Havana, Cuba with his wife, Letty. However, their honeymoon’s cut short when a mysterious blonde woman known as Cipher (Charlize Theron) confronts Dom. After showing Dom what kind of leverage, she has on him, she convinces him to work with her.

Soon after, former DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) informs Dom of a new mission for the team in Germany, so Dom gears up. On the mission, which involves Letty, Roman (Tyrese Gibson), Tej (Ludacris), and Ramsey, the new computer hacker on their team, Dom betrays the team like he’s told to do by Cipher. He steals the EMP weapon the team was trying to secure for the government.

With Dom now gone rogue, Frank Petty (Kurt Russell), the leader of a covert operations team that worked with Dom and his friends in the past, puts together his bandwagon of individuals to stop Dom and Cipher from pulling off whatever dastardly plan Cipher has in store. On Frank’s team is Dom’s former crew, Luke Hobbs, and their previous nemesis, Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), who was broken out of prison to help them.

Letty believes Dom still cares about her, and the team, because Dom would never break the “family first” code by which he lives. However, as they face off with Dom on the streets of New York City, it becomes unclear if he’ll ever be able to break free from whatever grip Cipher has on him. The plot thickens as Cipher, with Doms help, is able to steal nuclear launch codes. Will the team be able to stop this unstoppable female villain and save Dom?

The Fate of the Furious won’t convince anyone that the plot is somehow fresh and new, nor does it try to do that. It’s a fairly straightforward story of betrayal, conflict and jeopardy, with ginormous action sequences and emotionally uplifting storylines that mostly work because moviegoers are eight movies into the franchise and have actually grown to care about the characters. Somehow, The Fate of the Furious has topped stunts from previous movies in the franchise, with sequences that take car carnage to whole new levels, including a race on a frozen bay against a Russian submarine. Perhaps the weakest point of the plot is the female villain, Cipher, who lacks compelling motivation for her evil plot, although she’s a pretty bad-lady moviegoers will love to hate. Perhaps because the movie misses the pleasant charm of Paul Walker, FATE smartly takes itself a little less seriously by including much more humour. The result is a fun, always entertaining, time at the movies.

Staying true to the theme of the franchise, the movie extols the importance of family and fighting for one another, even when it seems like they’re fighting against you. While Dom betrays his team and wife, it’s revealed that he does so for good reasons, though some viewers probably will question why he couldn’t have brought his family in on the secret in the first place.

Best of all, the movie once again includes a significant amount of positive, overt and implied Christian content. Dom frequently wears a cross necklace, which serves as a major plot element in the movie, and symbolically and literally saves his family. Also, in the middle of another action sequence, when the team asks what they should do, Roman says, “Now we pray.” Most touching and impactful is at the end in the final shot when the group gathers together around a meal and prays together.

Sadly, The Fate of the Furious isn’t without its blemishes. The movie has too much foul language, including several strong profanities, many uses of the “s” word and one “f” word. Also, in the opening scene in Cuba, there are gratuitous shots of scantily clad women in skimpy bikinis and short shorts, and the camera ogles women from behind a couple times. This content, along with some strong action violence, warrants strong caution for moviegoers, especially media-wise families. – www.movieguide.org

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