AMERICA IS GETTING SICK OF ‘R’ RATED MOVIES — GET BACK TO VALUES TINSEL TOWN!
The story provides a great hope for Hollywood–based on hitting new lows and achieving utter failure that might shake it out of it’s ingrained debauchery. Maybe it will make movies again that get back to the basics: Great stories, great lessons with “morals” in mind, with conventional morality that reflects the vast majority of our populace in its better days.
I have the privilege to know Kevin McAfee, a filmmaker who is celebrated in Hollywood because of his commitment to “faith, family, and freedom.” Kevin is a former Disney employee, producer for William Buckley’s television program (in the not TOO distant past), and maker of a number of powerful films. It may sound naive to propose men and women of faith can make great films since, goodness knows, traditional Christian films usually lack a more sophisticated screenplay that engages the audience with a memorable story. But I remain an optimist when I consider what Kevin is trying to do. To myself I think, “No more cheese please!” And Kevin encourages my optimism. Kevin has a knack for not being preachy, yet telling a life changing story. “End of the Spear” was his most well-known film, but his documentary, “Beyond the Gates of Splendor”, the story of five missionaries slaughtered in the jungles of Ecuador (Jim Elliott and four colleagues) and the reconciliation between the savage tribe and of the wives of the murdered missionaries, breaks through the pedantic slant most “faith-based” films proffer. There is a great story. But there is also ART that is not lost in the process.
Believers should support ART, but ART that teaches and uplifts, versus degrades and degenerates our society. Secular liberalism is NOT the means to produce utopia, nor is it going to achieve humanitarian outcomes. As noted Christian intellectual, the late Francis Schaeffer taught us, the secular “god” of humanitarian concern built upon a socialistic utopianism is just not a big enough “god” to build and maintain a just society, that establishes “liberty for all” (encompassing those such as Christians with spiritual convictions about what’s right and wrong, and assert affirmations about the nature of our world and its ultimate destiny from a biblical perspective).
McAfee was my guest yesterday in our Social Entrepreneurship class (my day job) at a major university where I teach, and engaged our 25 students in a discussion on how to make money in Hollywood and thrive despite the usual demand for tawdry tales and scenes built on sexual exploitation. Young people who aspire to contribute to our world, don’t want trash — they want stories that inspire and equip them to build a better society based on proven values and rightly conceived government programs that protect people; but even more (based on my experience teaching twenty-somethings) promote business practices that can make an enormous social impact upon our world — while still practicing a “sustainable” business, which means a business that makes a profit while it helps others. Capitalism is not the problem and socialism is not the solution. But economic theory infused with an informed biblical perspective can be transformative to our world.
It’s no accident that Kevin McAfee has received numerous awards for the quality of his films and for the quality of his commitment to making values-based films of faith, family, and freedom. Look Kevin up in IMDB and his web site at veritasmissionfilms.com. Watch his 10 minute “bio” and I think you’ll agree.
Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your reaction.