Well, I promised at the end of my "Anne of Green Gables" post that I would also tell what was wrong with the film... So here it is. For those of you who are avid fans of it and don't want to hear anything bad about it, I'd recommend stopping here!
First of all, I'd like to point out the fact that I did not post a film review about it, in the true sense of the word. All I did was share the parts of the film I really enjoyed, and why I liked them. When thinking about the film on the whole though, I think the thing that bugs me most about that great story is the lack of Christianity very evident in the film. So many times, I wanted to tell Anne that the One who had kept her spirits up through some of the most trying circumstances was always with her, helping her through the tough times in her life. But instead, the main force the film portrayed as getting her through her difficulties was her imagination. And she also became good friends with Katie, who she called her "window friend", as she would often find comfort talking to her in dirty windows (since she grew up in less than ideal conditions...). What a power that film could have had had it portrayed how wonderful it is to have a personal Saviour Who is always there for you, no matter what you're going through. A personal friend that will never betray you or let you down; and One who will listen to all your sorrows with more compassion than any earthly friend.
But other than a couple minced over swear words that I wouldn't put in any of my films, although a lot of well-meaning people use them anyway..., most of "Anne of Green Gables" was REALLY good! But I was a little more uncomfortable with "Anne of Avonlea", as being the sequel, it also showed life later on when Anne got into the dating scene. Although pursuing a profession in teaching and not very interested in romance, she had pressure from all sides to be a little more "friendly" with the boys. The problem was that the film portrayed that as good. It actually got itself into a situation that needed a clear Biblical worldview to get itself out of: the point at which young ladies face the crossroads of becoming a "somebody" in the world, or choosing God's vision for them in becoming godly wives and mothers. It's a choice that many Christian young ladies have stumbled over, and one not easily answered as each person must search out God's plans for her own life. So as you would expect, coming from a non-Christian viewpoint, the film didn't make it as power-packed as it could have. At the end of the film, Anne confessed to her fiancée that she had learned it's not what the world gives you, but what you give the world that counts. I guess that was supposed to be her reason for not pursuing a professional career, but it sounded pretty lame compared to what she could have said about the world's offers being empty when compared to the "far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Corinthians 4:17) in store for those who set their standards high.
And finally, the last thing I didn't like about it was the fact that this wonderfully touching story about an abandoned orphan girl who was able to find hope and joy in life when she is moved to Green Gables, a quiet homestead on Prince Edward Island, is portrayed using actors that don't quite live up to the character's prowess; at least in my opinion. Some of the actor's lives when off set weren't the most God-honoring. Although that's how "normal" movie productions work, the actors end up being just a fake; instead of backing up the characters with actors who believe in what they're saying, it tends to just be an outcropping of the producer's worldview.
But since that's how most movies are produced, is there any hope of God-honoring films that do have a power for good? Thankfully there is! I've been very excited to watch the Independent Christian Film Movement blossom into something even Hollywood has taken notice of! For instance, when "Fireproof" hit theaters all around the world, Hollywood was shocked! "We didn't even see your movie coming, it just seemed to mushroom out of nowhere!" one review said. So why are Independent Christian films so popular, and how are they different from Hollywood's regulars? I'll cover that exciting topic in my next post, so stay tuned!