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BOOK GUIDE - CHRISTIANS IN THE MOVIES: A Century of Saints and Sinners
Quality: * * * * Acceptability: +1
RELEASE: May 2009
AUTHOR: Peter E. Dans
PUBLISHER: Rowman and Littlefield
CONTENT: (CCC, BBB, M) A very Christian worldview leaning slightly to a Roman Catholic perspective; discussions of violence, sex, drugs, blasphemy and other aspects of the films Peter is reviewing, but nothing salacious; and, nothing else objectionable.
GENRE: Christian/Film History
INTENDED AUDIENCE: Teenagers and above
REVIEWER: Dr. Ted Baehr
REVIEW: In his book, CHRISTIANS IN THE MOVIES: A CENTURY OF SAINTS AND SINNERS, Peter E. Dans reviews, with great insight and aplomb, movies released during various periods (such as The Silent Era) over the last century of the motion picture industry. He also reveals the magnitude of the cultural shift that has occurred during that time period.
From the captivating foreword by Joseph Bottum, editor of “First Things,” through the revealing preface, to the introductions to each period, and finally to the reviews themselves, Peter highlights the good, the true and the beautiful in the movies about Christians and Jesus Christ, while also revealing the erosion of faith and sanctity that has taken place in our culture.
This book is extremely comprehensive and very readable. There are wonderful insights into the directors, authors and others involved in some of the greatest films of all times. There are also interesting reflections by critics of those films.
It is well researched and well organized. Even so, it should be noted that MOVIEGUIDE® is the repository of the Protestant Film Office files (including all the minutes, meeting notes and reviews), so we have the actual history of the church’s influence in the Entertainment Industry during the first 75 years. Thus, in comparison to the actual history, it should be noted that there are one or two historical gaps and gaffes, but these are very minimal.
It should also be pointed out, that the book is very balanced between Protestant and Catholic perspectives, although Peter makes it clear that he approaches the material mainly from a Roman Catholic perspective. As a result, there are a few movies where the MOVIEGUIDE® review would differ from Peter’s perspective.
That said, MOVIEGUIDE® is very enthusiastic about this book and recommends it to everyone who likes film history or wants to know what to watch.
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