Have you ever watched a film and left talking about the various implications of the cinematic world view presented in the film?
Or how the score fit just right with the narrative?
Or did you reflect upon your own beliefs and presuppositions?
Did you leave asking yourself, “How did they do that?”
Did you leave, wanting to see it again so that you could glean all rich subtleties of character, set, costume, texture, tone, emotion?
Were you forced to ask yourself, “What would I have done in that situation?”
Or were you just glued to your seat, unable to move, letting the images you just consumed wash over your thoughts, mining the color pallet for the treasure trove of hidden detail and meaning?
Have you ever felt so connected with the character(s) that the unquenchable itch to see what happens next plagued you for hours and days if not weeks or months?
How were you made better because of the film?
What aspects of yourself were confronted by the, ultimately, fictional characters?
The majority of Christian films I’ve seen rarely answer all, if any, of these questions, because the primary purpose of Christian films is to spread the Gospel of Christ. Period.
This is not a bad purpose, mind you, since this is the greatest story that could ever be told, if not the most important story to tell. However, the unrealistic nature of the films, since they are not driven by character, plot, or story, but by the message of the Gospel, Christians films often fail to be anything more than religious, ham-handed denominational propaganda.
In fact, the most “spiritual’ movies rarely, if ever, are promoted as such types of films. Among the most religious, yet spiritually satisfying films that are actually good films, include, but are not limited to:
The Tree of Life (2011)
The Seventh Seal (1957)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Blade Runner (1982)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
These are personal pick as there are dozens more. However, they are a good place to start.