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Unexpected Stories: Movies Bringing Hope

New media and movies bringing hope and good news!

On September 26, World Meeting reports that the Pope is visiting the World Council of Families. Further, they provide live streaming of events for this week’s gatherings entitled “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive” and describes it as “Called together from all over the world in celebration of the family, the sanctuary of love and life.” All major American networks have been covering this past week on television, streaming, and news the Pope’s profound visits to Congress, the White House, United Nations, Ground Zero, to schools, to the homeless and much more.

News outlets around the world have also been covering these visits. On September 26, Philippine Daily Inquirer reports the Pope’s encounters with the powerful and poor in the United States and how the Pope has chided world powers for neglecting the poor and persecuted. On September 26, the New York Times reports on the last leg of his American visit of the Pope’s urging the laity of the church to become much more actively socially responsible for the good of the world.

Photo Courtesy of CatholicNH.

Photo Courtesy of CatholicNH.

The American Values Voters Summit on September 26 also provides powerful and profound ongoing news and live streaming of events, as they have all week and into the weekend, of the best presentations, speakers, and research that support the well-being of the United States and American families. Presidential candidates and those knowledgeable about national and international affairs have been presenting. The summit has been televised and streamed on CSPAN and network news.

At the Values Voters Summit, two new redemptive, socially responsible movies have been screened. Beyond the Farthest Star has been shown. This movie is about the burning of a courthouse nativity that brings the national spotlight to a forgotten Texas town and a pastor who has an opportunity to regain his ministry and restore his family. Beyond the Farthest Star, which is an artistic, captivating movie that focuses on truth and family. It is a Gathr® Films on demand movie that is currently available for theater screenings.

Secondly, the movie Woodlawn has been screened. This movie that is due out in theaters October 16 is based on an inspiring real-life story about love and unity in a school torn by racism and hate in the 1970’s. In 1973, an amazing spiritual awakening was kindled in the hearts of almost every football player of the Woodlawn High School team, including its coach Tandy Gerelds.

They displayed an overcoming commitment to love and unity in a school filled with racism that played out in the largest high school football game ever played in the torn city of Birmingham, Alabama. It led to the rise of its first African American superstar, Tony Nathan. Woodlawn features actors Sean Astin (Sam Gamgee, Lord of the Rings) and Jon Voight (National Treasure) and is executively produced by Roma Downey and Mark Burnett.

In recent years many family movies have told stories, many of them based on real life experiences, of redemption, as well as personal and social hope, while at the same time entertaining. As viewers especially in their after work, training, and school hours seek entertainment in video, media, and movies on large and small screens, socially responsible media can enlighten, educate, and entertain at the same time.

Most importantly, viewers want hope and inspiration, although they may see programming that is honest, authentic, and even gritty. Today in the vast array of film, video, and streaming technologies and options, there are many ways and choices for viewers around the world to see and experience hope, inspiration, and even overcoming joy.

Written by Diane Howard, Ph.D. (Performance Studies), dianehoward.com