My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wow… Finishing this book is like losing my movie-going innocence. I see how naively I drank in everything from the theaters without considering the message behind the movie. We’re talking complete stupidity here–I was able to get through the Truman Show without realizing it was an allegory.
Anyway, I have read a couple of Christian-based movie critiques now, (see also The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite and Through a Screen Darkly) and Brian Godawa is by far the most insightful. He goes beyond the surface level and accurately assesses the world views of the people making the movies and the message they convey.
The scope of this book is much wider than a reference for movie reviews. Godawa teaches you what to look for, how to analyze a movie’s plot, and gives you a primer on virtually every type of philosophy you will find in today’s movies. He also gives some eye-openening examples of passages in the Bible that would totally shock the cultural anemics who argue that Christians should have nothing to do with movies, and a very brief defense for why it is necessary that we familiarize ourselves with our culture.
I recommend this book to every Christian. It is indispensable for parents who need to be aware of the subtle messages their children are imbibing in the seemingly innocent movies they watch; or really anyone who is serious about interacting with their culture. My only regret is that Godawa seems to be done, at least for now, with movie criticism, focusing on other pursuits, instead.
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