[notice]It’s not every day that we are presented with a tool that can be used to make a significant impact in fighting one of the greatest evils in our society. The forthcoming movie Courageous does put such a tool in our hands[/notice]
On Thursday December 1, Humble Pie Entertainment and Ster Kinekor screened private viewings of Courageous — the hit movie from Sherwood Pictures — at cinemas around the country, ahead of the national release on 27th January 2012.
Gateway News and Aleph Surf Foundation co-hosted the screening at The Bridge in Port Elizabeth and I can say without hesitation that the audience was blown away by the movie that combines great action, great comedy, great drama and a powerful message about Godly living and the serious challenge of fatherhood. In brief the film tells the story of four tough cops and a carpenter who discover they need to become better fathers.
On a more personal note, I was surprised that the film exceeded my expectations, because I was already well aware that the fourth movie by the makers of Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Flywheel was a winner. In Gateway News we have previously reported on the great box office success of Courageous since its release in the US on September 30. And last week I read that no less than 320 000 viewers had flooded the Courageous Facebook page with personal testimonies of changed lives — reconciled relationships, rededication of faith, renewed commitment to godly parenting and reformed visions of what marriage, parenting and families should be. But despite my foreknowledge of the movie, I, along with the rest of the private screening audience, was thoroughly captivated by this very entertaining and challenging movie which includes a forthright presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Birthed in prayer
Stephen Kendrick, one of the two Kendrick brothers who has produced, written and directed several movies, says, as the Sherwood Church was praying for their next movie after Fireproof, God kept impressing upon them the collapse of fatherhood. Fathers are absent in a large percentage of the American family. In African America families, almost three-quarters of the fathers are missing. And research shows that young people in father-absent households are more likely to end up incarcerated, with the numbers rising when a father was never around.
In South Africa, according to a recent report by the South African Institute of Race Relations, nine million children are growing up with absent but living fathers, and only one third of children live with both of their parents, and nearly 100 000 children live in child-headed households. The report tracked the effects on children and young people of unstable families. It referred to international and local research which had found that children growing up without both parents are at a significant disadvantage in educational outcomes, employment prospects, behaviour, and relationships.
“Increasing numbers of fathers are absent, and a ‘crisis of men’ in South Africa seems to be perpetuating patterns of abuse and desertion that will most likely continue,” says the report.
The report also says that violence within families was found to be a “major contributing factor to youth crime”. – Independent Newspapers
Opportunity to impact
Against the backdrop of the crisis in fatherhood in South Africa, the screening of Courageous presents an exciting opportunity to make a positive impact in this area of vital need in our country.
Humble Pie Entertainment points out that the success of the opening weekend of Courageous will determine largely how long it stays in theatres and, ultimately, how many lives it touches. A big opening weekend says, “This is the movie to see,” and and more buzz kicks in, says Humble Pie.
In a message to audiences at Courageous private screening, Humble Pie said: ” Don’t assume because the movie is playing in your town that people will go. We know from experience that it takes churches and individuals campaigning the film to get people out of their living rooms into theaters. Your role is to help pack out theaters – through your pulpit, or your area of influence. The only way to truly support this film is to buy a block of tickets (block booking).”
On behalf of Gateway News, I would add that this message also applies to you the reader. You can make a difference by diarising the January 27 opening date and planning your campaign to fill theatre seats.