Christmas Film Traditions
Christmas time can be a time for gatherings and there are many Christian films around to view and consider and some more secular ones that have Christian themes.
For a traditional telling of the real Christmas story, I recommend The Nativity Story (2006, PG). A wonderfully set and focused production. I had an extensive review of this in an early ACCatalyst (December 2007 – ‘The Meaning of Christmas in non-Christian times’: PDF )
For a lateral and perhaps different take for the younger generation, but one that can inspire considerable discussion, It’s A Wonderful Life (1943, PG). If it was made in Victoria today, it would be a very short film, as the main character would have been encouraged to seek euthanasia, but fortunately you can still watch a gem of a performance from my favourite actor Jimmy Stewart as he re-lives the gift of life.
And Joyeux Noel (2006, M)
More of an adult film given some of the themes, this Oscar Winner for Best Foreign Film in 2006, about a truce at Christmas is a surprising, but topical film given our continuing look at events during the centenary of World War I.
And if you have a good deal of time on your hands, how about A Christmas Carol? According to Wikipedia, there are 45 film versions of the classic Dickens book, with most critics and Christian film groups rating the 1951 version the highest, though I believe A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992, G) provides a worthy and lateral competitor, and one that the whole family can join in the singing.
Peter Bentley is the ACC’s National Director