Religious movies hit the theaters in biblical proportions

Akari Shimura, Contributing Writer

Is it possible that modern film producers have been promoting religion by propagandistically releasing pious movies?  In the past two months, four major religious movies were released in time for Easter Sunday: Noah, Son of God, God’s Not Dead, and Heaven Is for Real.

Noah, written and directed by Darren Aronofsky, is a slightly altered interpretation of the story of Noah and his ark.  Russell Crowe, Logan Lerman, and Emma Watson, amongst the rest of the cast, did a fantastic job at creating a thrilling take on the biblical story.

Son of God is a very heartwarming film for Christian audiences.  The motion picture takes the viewers through Jesus’ life from his birth to his death, highlighting all of his created miracles.  While the message and tone of the movie was spot on, the script was not up to par—a factor many critics attacked.

It was a story that educated the audience, especially non-Christians about his legacy. Director Christopher Spencer does a successful job at fabricating a film that both Christians and non-Christians are bound to love.

God’s Not Dead has modern twist on religion.  Unlike Noah and Son of God, this movie is not an interpretation of a religious figure or story, but rather about a twenty-first century Christian student, Josh Wheaton, rebelling against his atheist professor at college.

The movie is a battle between him and his professor about whether God is “alive” or “dead,” real or not real.  And while Josh’s faith is tested, he continues to believe it is his God-given duty to restore the faith that has been disintegrated in modern society.

This movie highlights the controversy over Christianity and atheism, depicting non-religious people as the glaring wrongs in society.  In a world that is trending towards objectivism, it is unique to see a film taking a clear supportive stance of religion.

However the movie loses all its moral momentum by preaching Christian superiority and portraying non-Christians as opinionated bigots.

Heaven Is for Real is the true story of a four-year-old named Colton who claims to have visited Heaven whilst undergoing a surgery.  This young boy becomes a phenomenon, causing controversy in his town of whether or not he is honest.  Directed by Randall Wallace, this movie is surprisingly humorous and sends a subliminal message that appeals to a general audience.  Although the film is classified as religious, it is not as evangelical as other movies based on similar events.

The aforementioned movies can be divided into two groups, the recreation of a religious event or a story pertaining to religion, but not necessarily propagandistic. Noah and Son of God are both recreations of beloved religious events for the entertainment of religious audiences.

Meanwhile, God’s Not Dead and Heaven Is for Real both center around religious protagonists who seem to be fighting a religious crusade in the modern world, which may be interpreted as religious propaganda.

It is unclear as to whether or not Hollywood is supporting a revival of faith, but all four movies can be considered propaganda techniques taken by present-day film producers to promote a religious revival.  Religious movies, while they may cause controversy, can be entertaining, if not educational.