When I see a movie I never think about how God might be active in the story. Going to Sundance with DTS challenged me to do just that.
Some films made faith evident and clear. For example, I saw Farewell Amor, a story about an Angolan family reunited in New York City after 17 years apart. The mother, Esther, held deeply to her faith in Christ in order to get through the challenge of separation. Even once reunited, an emotional separation kept her apart from her husband. Esther clung to her faith and never ceased praying for her family.
But then there’s the Will Ferrell movie, Downhill, that seems to have nothing to do with God. It’s one of those silly rom coms, and still not that great. Where was God? I couldn’t tell you. But I’m challenged to at least try. (Side note: it’s not going very well).
I saw several more movies than just those two of course. Most of them had at the very least, glimpses of God; enough to spark conversation. Though I can’t say that I had very many conversations around that. Sundance gets to be so hectic it’s hard to find time to have discussions about what we just saw.
At the end of just about every movie, the filmmakers got in front of the audience for a Q&A. Truly a treat, you don’t get this kind of thing at the movie theater in your regular every day setting. Most of the questions revolved around filmmaking technique, but occasionally you’d get some good questions about the story and inspiration.
The Windrider Forum on the other hand invited filmmakers to talk specifically about inspiration for their films. We as participants got to hear a moderator invite them into deeper discussions about their films at Sundance, as well as elements of faith that may have been infused in their stories. This is what it’s all about.
Over the next few weeks I’ll post more specifically about certain aspects of Sundance 2020. I hope that this can spark discussion about filmmaking and a transcendence that leads us to seek something bigger than ourselves.