5 Films to Encourage You in Dark Times
Ryan Duncan Crosswalk.com blogspot for ChristianMovieReviews.com and Ryan Duncan, Crosswalk.com Entertainment and Culture editor
- 2016 Jul 08
Lately, it feels as if the world has become a very dark place. Every day brings more news of grief and loss, and as someone who spends their time blogging about movies, I just don’t know what to say. What I believe though, is that now more than ever we need to look for the best in one other. We need to remember Jesus’ command to love our neighbors (John 13:34), and aspire to a better future for our communities. In order to accomplish this, we need examples we can look to in dark times, and here is where I might be able to help.
Below is a list of movies that will inspire viewers to have courage and show mercy in these times of strife. Hopefully, their encouragement will give us strength in the days ahead.
Remember the Titans
Set in 1971, Remember the Titans chronicles how one football team united their town in fellowship amidst a storm of racial tension. Titans demonstrated why people should judge the soul of a man rather than his appearance, and Coach Boone’s speech over the graves of Gettysburg remains a stirring call to reconciliation even to this day. A story of perseverance and brotherhood, Remember the Titans stands as a testament to what we can overcome when we put aside our anger and work together.
To End all Wars
“What is the consequence of a single life weighing less than a feather? What is the final destination of hatred? What does it mean to love ones enemies?” These are just a few questions viewers discover while watching To End All Wars. A WWII drama following Allied soldiers inside a Japanese labor camp, this film is a haunting tale of grace, sacrifice, and forgiveness. Though not for the faint of heart, there are few movies that so masterfully capture the pain and purity of Christ’s message.
Don’t be fooled by its sunny exterior, Zootopia is a surprisingly thoughtful film about the dangers of prejudice and its far-reaching effects on our society. When Judy Hopps arrives in Zootopia as the first rabbit police officer, she struggles to overcome the stereotypes which have defined her life. Over time however, and with the help of small-time con artist Nicholas P. Wilde, she comes to understand that even the best of us can make mistakes. Good for adults and kids alike, Zootopia shows us that the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional we become.
Sometimes, being brave means doing what’s right in the face of great fear. Its ordinary men and women stepping forward to speak when no one else will. For The Help, this meant sharing the experience of African-American maids working in the fiercely racist Jackson, Mississippi. Characters such as Aibileen, Minny, and Skeeter demonstrated how an act of kindness can not only restore someone’s dignity, it can remove fear from their heart. The Help urges it’s viewers to stand up for justice even when they’re afraid. For it is in life’s dark places that we often find our courage.
Sometimes, a single act of compassion can change the world. Victor Hugo’s moving story of redemption has been an inspiration to Christians for years, and right now people need a tale of abounding grace. When the character Jean Valjean is caught stealing the Church's silver, the Bishop could have easily had him arrested. Instead, he shows Valjean mercy, and gives him the rest of the treasures before urging him to turn his life over to God. It’s a brief, yet powerful moment of grace which reminds us to forgive our enemies and seek forgiveness in turn.
What movies give you encouragment in difficult times? Share yours in the space below.