Sunday, April 17, 2016

Full of Grace-a movie review

FishFlix Christian movies sent me a complimentary copy of Full of Grace in exchange for my review. Mary, the mother of Jesus,is in her final days here on earth. It is 10 years after the resurrection and the church is struggling to find answers to the cultural and spiritual differences that are dividing Jewish and Gentile Christians.

The opening scenes show Peter's resistance to leading the church and we soon learn Peter is doubting the reality of his faith in spite of the miracles he experienced first hand in the months following the resurrection. Sensing her time is short, Mary sends for Peter and brings encouragement to him and a small group of other disciples and church leaders.

The scenery in the film is beautiful and the actors perform almost reverently as they match the solemn and serious tone of the movie. I appreciate the way the script upholds Biblical events and Scriptural text as Mary reminisces and reflects on  her life with Jesus. It is she who still holds him close to heart and reminds the others that Jesus has not left them.

I recently studied the book of Acts in a Bible Study class and it was good to see familiar characters like Peter and James and what life might have been like for them.  The problem between Jewish and Gentile believers was a very hot issue as the church grew in size.  However, I never got the impression from Scripture that Peter was discouraged or had lost the vision to lead the church as the film portrays. The conjecture works for the story in order to give Mary the role of mentor and minister to those who listen to her message.

This is not a movie to entertain.  The action is slow and many scenes are silent except for soulful music playing in the background as an actor wrestles with inner emotions. It might be good in a church setting with discussion afterwards. The theme of honoring Mary and giving her center stage may appeal most to Catholics. This is not a genre I would normally choose, but the film is well done and held my interest.  Even though the problems of the church are not revisited before the movie is over, we are left to believe that Peter, now inspired by Mary, will lead the church forward.

Thanks, again, to FishFlix movies for giving me the privilege of reviewing a film that was inspirational and outside my usual movie fare. If you are looking for a film to generate a faith conversation with a church group or to watch in a personal reflective time, you might find Full of Grace fits the bill.

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