A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A Question of Faith is, as the title suggests, a faith-based drama about three Christian families brought together by a tragic accident. As with most faith-based movies, there's no iffy language, sexual content, or substance abuse to worry about, and the messages are all positive, especially for viewers of faith. But there are some potentially upsetting scenes involving an accident, the death of a child, a minor's juvenile detention, and a young woman's struggle to recover from major surgery. One white character starts out subtly racist but has a change of heart by the end of the film. A teen character texts and drives, with catastrophic consequences. Although the movie may appeal more to Christian viewers than secular audiences, the diverse, professional ensemble cast -- including award-winning contemporary Christian singer Jaci Velasquez -- will please those looking for a film about the power of prayer, forgiveness, and community.
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What's the story?
A QUESTION OF FAITH follows three Christian families whose lives converge in tragedy. David Newman (Richard T. Jones) is about to succeed his father as senior pastor to a large, prosperous, and predominantly African-American church. John Danielson (C. Thomas Howell) hopes to get out of considerable debt thanks to his talented daughter Michelle's prospects at snagging a record-label contract. Kate Hernandez (Jaci Velasquez) owns a restaurant where her daughter, Maria (Karen Valero), works as a driver delivering food. When Maria goes on a delivery and starts texting, she accidentally strikes Pastor Newman's younger son, 12-year-old Eric, who had been waiting for his father to pick him up. Meanwhile, Michelle faints after singing for the record label and is rushed to the hospital, where she's diagnosed with a life-threatening condition. The horrific accident connects all three families, who overcome their challenges through the power of prayer.
Is it any good?
This multicultural, prayer-based drama is one of the better entries in the Christian film genre, starring veteran actors and focusing on forgiveness, safe driving, and organ donation. It's still not all that likely that secular audiences will be clamoring to see it, considering that a significant portion of the movie takes place during church services or in moments of prayer. In fact, it's possible there's more praying in this movie than any recent faith-based feature, and that's because prayer is baked into the story's overarching message: Prayer, for a Christian, is a necessary part of a relationship with God. That will make sense to Christian audiences, but may not resonate with those who don't believe (or who aren't fans of religion-themed movies).
Thanks to the proficiency of the professional actors in A Question of Faith (many films in this genre star non-actors, and it always shows), the movie has polished production values. And while the "reveal" of how the families are connected might be predictable, it's handled in an earnest, sensitive way that sheds light both on the importance of organ donation as a means of offering others a second chance at life and on how distracted driving is rampant among young (and frankly all) drivers. Those two specific messages mean that there are a few sequences -- like the scene of Mrs. Newman (Kim Fields) asking teens to take a safe driving pledge and advocating for drivers to become organ donors -- that could be meaningful to all viewers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how A Question of Faith handles the issue of texting while driving. Parents, talk to your teens about why it's so important to keep their eyes on the road while driving.
Who are the role models in the movie? What are their character strengths?
What is the movie's message about forgiveness? Who benefits from giving and receiving it in the story?
Do you think only families/viewers who embrace the movie's faith-based messages will appreciate it? Why or why not? Who is the intended audience?
Discuss your family's position on organ donation.
- In theaters: September 29, 2017
- On DVD or streaming: January 2, 2018
- Cast: Richard T. Jones, Kim Fields, C. Thomas Howell
- Director: Kevan Otto
- Studio: Pure Flix Entertainment
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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