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Redemption in ‘Captive’ & ‘War Room’ Draws Diverse Audiences

Those wanting worthwhile, uplifting, inspirational films have many options in terms of sources of good entertainment for themselves, their families and friends today. Despite the many new sources of streaming video, DVDs are still popular as part of a dependable library of content.

On September 22, War Room is the top-selling DVD in the African-American and drama categories. This is inspiring to see because War Room with its dominantly African American cast is about family reconciliation and prayer. War Room is still in the theaters and only available at this time as a pre-ordered DVD. Both War Room and Captive (about the redemption of Ashley Smith and killer Brian Nichols) are movies that are now top at the box office and are drawing diverse audiences through stories of redemption and reconciliation with multi-racial casts.

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(Patricia Shirer) & (Karen Abercrombie) share in the power of prayer; Photo Courtesy of the Kendrick Brothers.

David Oyelowo (veteran British actor) who has beautifully played Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, has also skillfully played Brian Nichols who finds redemption in Captive. In an interview with Christian Cinema, Oyelowo tells how “God’s Grace Can End Injustice & Hate.”  He shares how the true story of the film shows how redemption and reconciliation are possible even with people of different racial backgrounds.

David tells how his favorite part of the film is when Brian Nichols asks Ashley Smith if “she could forgive him if he was the man who killed her husband.” David says that Ashley “doesn’t know if she could but she thinks that God could.” Oyelowo explains that this moment was Ashley’s way of breaking into her own salvation.

Author Ashley Smith and Actor David Oyelowo on the set of Captive; Photo Courtesy of Evan Klanfer.

Author Ashley Smith and Actor David Oyelowo on the set of Captive; Photo Courtesy of Evan Klanfer.

In the same interview, David Oyelowo proclaims that the “miraculous breaks in, against our expectations…” Oyelowo says, “We really have to question our prejudices. Whether it’s in Selma or in the story of Brian Nichols, we have to treat people differently,” he said. Further, he tells that what changed this situation was when Ashley Smith was willing to read to Nichols, to serve him pancakes, and to treat him like a human being. Oyelowo says, “She defused a human bomb” when she treated him “like he was human.”

In an exclusive interview, Karen Abercrombie who plays the lead role of wise Aunt Clara in War Room, has said that the issues addressed in War Room are universal to the human race. The Kendrick Brothers, who wrote and produced War Room, have said that they deliberately chose a dominantly African-American cast for War Room to bring to it a depth of spirit and soul because this movie has an honest, vulnerable, and broad appeal with its focus on the power of prayer.

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Elizabeth dives into the Word of God; Photo Courtesy of the Kendrick Brothers.

In an recent interview, Brian Bird, screenwriter for Captive, has said that all of us hunger for redemption and that redemptive movies point to the ultimate and original redemption story, which are critically needed for a time such as this.

Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), originally for Austin Movie Examiner