This weekend, we’re feeling extremely non-fictitious here at Reel World Theology. Forget those movies about people and places that don’t exist. Instead, we want you to enjoy three documentaries recommended by our fine contributors. So make sure to take notes, pay attention, and report back with more informed opinions after this weekend. You’ll thank us later for your increased intelligence and interesting conversation talking points.
via The Film Avenger
via Gene Gosewehr
Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru (Netflix) – One of the most well-known names in American pop-culture in the last two decades is Tony Robbins. The interesting thing about that fact is most only know the name without ever having heard him speak. ‘I am Not Your Guru’ gives us all the opportunity to change that as we get an up-close look at one of Tony Robbins’ most famous yearly events, “Date with Destiny”.
Robbins is a powerful, masculine, brutally honest and genuinely caring man. He has helped thousands of people gain a stronger view of themselves and face certain realities in their lives that they have been either ignorant of or too scared to face. Don’t start this for an easy, middle-of-the-day watch with your kids around. There is cursing throughout and some difficult content to deal with. We also need to be aware of the glimpses, however small, of prosperity gospel teaching. I use that phrase somewhat hesitantly because there isn’t a direct Christian foundation in Tony’s message, but he does invoke God sporadically. You’ll hear “God’s purpose” in terms of materialistic prosperity and strengthening of relationships. You’ll hear “God’s wealth” used in a pretty vague, name-it-claim-it sense.
BUT, you’ll also hear Tony be very tough on people for their faults, their errors, indeed, their sins. He says, “Life is gonna come at you. This isn’t some bull*&*$* positive thinking seminar… we look for the weed and we rip it out.” So there is good in that he isn’t simply telling people how great they are and asking them to live up to that. One of my favorite lines was, “I’ll tell you all what your problem is, you think you shouldn’t have them.” Unfortunately, it’s dreadfully vacant in pointing to Jesus for the solution to our brokenness, because Tony believes “I didn’t come here to fix you because you’re not broken… even if you think you’re broken I’m going to show you you’re not.” If you can handle the harsh language, this is a good documentary to study what people are looking for and the problems they’re facing, and how to understand that the answers are found in Jesus, not in ourselves.
via Josh Crabb
Elstree 1976 (Netflix) – If it is Star Wars, I am going to see it. While a lot of fan films and documentaries can be pretty amateurish and nothing special. Elstree 1976 is rare in being able to tell an old story in a new way. Filmmaker Jon Spira interviews extras from the set of the original Star Wars including some familiar extras like David Prowse, who played Darth Vader, Jeremy Bulloch, who played Boba Fett. However, the main and most interesting content are hearing the stories and lives of possibly lesser known actors like Garrick Hagon, ho played Luke’s friend Biggs Darklighter, Anges MacInnes, who played Gold Leader, and Paul Blake, who played Greedo.
The best part of the movie, however, is when the stories of being on the set of Star Wars wear off and you begin to see their lives post-Star Wars and how they relate to the world and one another since that time. Some have made a career in acting, others not, yet all of them have become somewhat active on the fan convention circuit and others within the group are none too happy about it. The last third takes an interesting twist in examining this political and often contentious aspect of being a small part of a gigantic, significant piece of popular culture. Well worth your time if you aren’t a huge fan of “The Wars” but a must-see for hardcore fans.