ALL SAINTS – an unexpected movie review

Prepare for a review that I wasn’t expecting to write.

ALL SAINTS is a great movie.

There. I said it. ALL SAINTS is a film that is fully focused on telling a beautiful story of faith,

I can be cynical when it comes to films of faith. I expect to hold the bar low, and at least roll my eyes several times. But ALL SAINTS is the exception to the rule, and it gives me hope that faith film producers are learning to just tell a great story.

ALL SAINTS is a film that is fully focused on telling a beautiful true story of faith, community, and redemption…without being cheesy. Without a big evangelical agenda. Without a loud, long altar call at the end of the film.

ALL SAINTS tells the true story of a church in crisis. There was a church split and the small remnants of the membership couldn’t sustain the costs of operating a church. New Pastor Michael Spurlock (played perfectly by John Corbett) is essentially placed there to turn the lights on for the realtors and hold a few final church services at All Saints Episcopal Church in Smyrna, TN, a bedroom community outside of Nashville.

But Michael quickly finds a heart for these people and decides he has to at least try to save the church.

A few weeks in, a group of Karen refugees show up at church. The Karen are a Christian minority in Burma that were being persecuted by the Buddhists military. Their villages were destroyed and many were murdered in a genocide. The survivors fled to a refugee camp in Thailand and eventually made it to Middle Tennessee.   The Karen were brought to Christianity by the British, so they are Anglican. They are Episcopal.

A church in crisis now has to figure out how to take care of a people in crisis. But the Karen are farmers and they see opportunity in the fertile lands behind the church. Could planting a garden be the key to both saving the church and feeding hungry refugees?

ALL SAINTS is a heartwarming story of faith, of community, of breaking down barriers and loving our neighbor. Need a dose of hope? Want to see a beautiful picture of the body of Christ? Go see ALL SAINTS.

But be warned, it might make you see your refugee neighbors in a different light. I personally need to be more diligent about reaching out to my neighbors. To hear their stories. To understand their lives. They are my brothers and sisters – and I need to treat them as such.

ALL SAINTS is perfectly cast, and stars John Corbett, Cara Buono, Barry Corbin, David Keith, GregoryAlan Williams, and Chonda Pierce.  Nelson Lee stands out as Ye Win, the leader of the group of refugees.  Also,   many of the real Karen refugees act in the film and bring honest performances to the screen.

Seriously. Don’t miss this one.

Catch the trailer here:

Note – ALL SAINTS was filmed on location at the real All Saints Church in Smyrna, TN. They invite anyone to come, visit and get to know their church community.

 

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