Range of Movies and Individuals Demonstrate Respect and Reverence
The Sundance Film Festival is one of the most illustrious festivals in the United States. Tens of thousands members of the film industry descend on Park City, Utah to present, watch, and review movies that are being premiered for the first time.
The festival comes at an interesting period in America’s social debate and political consciousness. The Trump administration has argued that there is a constant attack on religion in the United States. A recent poll demonstrated that Trump’s most consistent base, evangelical Christians, overwhelming believe that Christians are discriminated against in the United States. One of the frequent targets of “Christianaphobia” is Hollywood. Mainstream movies are seen as a place that demonstrates immoral behavior and has argued that Christian actors and filmmakers face prejudice.
But that is simply not the case. WRN was able to talk to individuals at Sundance about religion and many discussed the power of stories in shaping our lives and how religion has some of the most moving stories that have shaped our civilization for thousands of years.
In fact, there are several movies that have positive portrayals that were at the film festival. One movie, Burden, that has been getting high praise, is about the efforts of a preacher to help a former Klu Klux Klan member overcome his history of hatred. Another movie Come Sunday is a realistic portrayal of a preacher who is trying to express his faith to his congregation. The movie is described as fair and balanced to faith and neither movie pokes fun at religion.
In fact, every year a group of evangelical seminary students visit Sundance and get the opportunity to speak to directors, actors, and other creatives about their projects. Other congregations have formed in recent times. This was set up by the festival and the Fuller Theological Seminary and both have been magnanimous in thanking each other for building bridges between faith and filmmaking. WRN has reported that the argument on an attack on faith is a convenient fiction most times to support ulterior motives. While it is impossible to say this is true in every account, it is clear that the belief that Hollywood hates Christians cannot be found in the emerging movies that will shape cinema for the next year.