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WHAT IS LOVE?

"The Science and Theology of Love"

What You Need To Know:

The new Catholic-produced documentary WHAT IS LOVE? takes a profound look at both the science of love and the various powerful ways it manifests itself. Writer, Director and Narrator Steve Bollman provides a series of compelling examples through touchingly rendered testimonies and re-enactments, which reveal love in its various permutations. His movie mixes stories of people whose lives reflect the depths of love with Bollman’s explanations of all manner of scientific studies.

WHAT IS LOVE? shows the power of love in the lives of various people, such as a Rwandan genocide survivor who ultimately forgave her tormentor. Sacrificial love is on display in a married female doctor who implored doctors to save her unborn child even though they recommended abortion. Filmmaker Steve Bollman also reveals how many false impressions of love are created by people’s innate craving for dopamine, which can lead to such abuses as adultery and drug addiction. WHAT IS LOVE? has a strong Christian worldview from a Catholic perspective. It contains references to conversion, sacrificial love, transformative love, and biblical passages like 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and the Song of Solomon.

Content:

(CCC, BB, Ro, V, S, A, DD)

Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian worldview from a Roman Catholic perspective with references to conversion, sacrificial love, transformative love, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and the Song of Solomon, but movie also discusses romantic love in places

Foul Language:
No foul language

Violence:
A former Mafia enforcer talks about, and shows in re-creation, a bar fight that he was in in which he nearly killed a man while punching and choking him, the choking is shown for just a moment, and only one punch is seen, and he then notes that he was stabbed in the back, but this is seen from behind the stabber, so no actual stabbing is seen, just a small amount of blood on the bar floor

Sex:
No sex scenes, but there are light references to adultery, but rebuked

Nudity:
No nudity Alcohol: One scene takes place in a bar where people are socially drinking alcohol

Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking, but light references to the dopamine effects of drug addiction, and a former criminal discusses his drug-dealing days and says that he didn’t care about any of the consequences of it before his conversion to Christ; and,

Miscellaneous Immorality:
Nothing else objectionable.

More Detail:

The question of what love is has been debated since the beginning of time, but in the 60 years of the Sexual Revolution, the very concept of love has been corrupted by many and rendered shallow by an American society that has a high divorce rate.

The new Catholic-produced documentary WHAT IS LOVE? takes a profound look at both the science of love and the various powerful ways it manifests itself in the world. Writer-director and narrator Steve Bollman provides a series of compelling examples shared through touchingly rendered testimonies and re-enactments, which reveal love in its various permutations.

The documentary is inspired by Pope St. John Paul II’s call for mankind to engage in a serious exploration of love that includes faith and science. In doing so, WHAT IS LOVE? mixes stories of people whose lives are vital examples of the depths of love with Bollman’s explanations of all manner of scientific studies.

One might expect WHAT IS LOVE? to include the stories of couples like Harvard University professor and social scientist Arthur C. Brooks, an American, and his wife Esther, a Frenchwoman, as they share the story of how they fell in love despite cultural differences and language barriers. While their story is inspirational, it pales in comparison to the lives of Therese and Lance Bertrand, who defied cancer and multiple sclerosis to have a fulfilling marriage blessed with children even though they knew Lance was dying.

More unexpected angles include former British Mob enforcer John Pridmore. Pridmore reveals that his life was emotionally and spiritually empty, because he used materialism and sexual affairs to fill the void that he created at 10-years-old when his parents divorced and he vowed

never to fall in love. His mother’s fervent novena to St. Jude transformed his life and brought him a new life through God’s love and the Catholic Church.

WHAT IS LOVE? also shows the power of love in the lives of such surprising figures as Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza and her harrowing quest to stay alive. She ultimately forgave her tormentor. Sacrificial love is on display in the tale of St. Gianna Beretta Molla, a wife, mother and doctor who implored doctors to save her unborn child when they told her abortion was best for her troubled pregnancy.

Through it all, Bollman presents the sociological and scientific aspects of love with discussions of such studies as the Dunbar Number. That study revealed that humans will fall in love up to three times in their lives, have five best friends and 115 acquaintances – and explored the ways in which the varying levels of relationships are formed.

Bollman also reveals how so many false impressions of love are created through the innate human craving for dopamine, which can lead to such abuses as adultery and drug addiction while destroying marriages. He also shares a fun look at the ways in which men and women share both common and disparate traits in finding their perfect life partner.

The combination in WHAT IS LOVE? of scientific and sociological studies of how love is tied to the brain’s reward system, mixed with the powerful testimonies in several re-enactments makes this an intriguing film to watch from beginning to end. Bollman presents his complex material in an engaging, relatable way that will enable any viewer to receive its messages. Stories like Mob enforcer Pridmore break the mold of most such documentaries by adding a grit that’s fascinating. His story ultimately achieves a greater payoff when his conversion to Jesus comes.

Bollman keeps WHAT IS LOVE? God-centered. For example, several of the stories are directly impacted by miracles and spiritual conversions. He also incorporates key scriptures on love including 1 Cor. 13:4-8 and a passage from the Song of Solomon, making this a perfectly well-rounded documentary.

Bollman’s hope is to inspire the Millennial generation to open their heart’s desire to true love and marriage, at a time when a third of people in their 20s say they will never marry.

WHAT IS LOVE? plays for one night on Monday, October 16, 2023, in hundreds of theaters across the United States and Canada.

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Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.


4000+ Faith Based Articles and Movie Reviews – Will you Support Us?

Our small team works tirelessly to provide resources to protect families from harmful media, reviewing 415 movies/shows and writing 3,626 uplifting articles this year. We believe that the gospel can transform entertainment. That’s why we emphasize positive and faith-filled articles and entertainment news, and release hundreds of Christian movie reviews to the public, for free. No paywalls, just trusted, biblically sound content to bless you and your family. Online, Movieguide is the closest thing to a biblical entertainment expert at your fingertips. As a reader-funded operation, we welcome any and all contributions – so if you can, please give something. It won’t take more than 52 seconds (we timed it for you). Thank you.