Christian moviegoers sometimes lament the dearth of good, positive, realistic portrayals of faith in film. If Christians are portrayed in film, it’s usually as right-wing zealots (Citizen Ruth), scary pentecostals (Jesus Camp), or psychotic killers (Night of the Hunter). Or faith is reduced to schmaltzy simplicity, as in most “Christian films” (Facing the Giants, Fire Proof). But many films throughout cinema history have actually provided rich, artful portraits of faith. The following is a list of 33 films that take faith seriously; films I believe every Christian should make a point to see.
Higher Ground is a great companion piece to the searing must-see Korean drama, Secret Sunshine, which released this week on Criterion DVD and Blu-Ray. Both films center on a woman's journey of evangelical Christian faith through ups, downs, doubts, renewal and tragedy. Both films are made by outsiders to evangelical Christianity but with a sympathetic eye toward truly understanding the complexity of the life of faith. Subsequently, both are brutally honest, messy, sometimes difficult portrayals that get one thing very right about the journey of religious faith: It's not always easy.