A film chronicle of one woman's journey of faith

The New York Times reviews "Higher Ground," a film about one woman's spiritual journey from mainline Christianity to her baptism and life in a tight-knit evangelical/pentecostal church to her movement into the world of the spiritual-but-not-too-religious secular world while still maintaining intellectual curiosity and spiritual engagement.

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Does The Help help?

Elizabeth Geitz is not sure whether the runaway popularity of the movie The Help, based on the bestselling book of the same name, is an altogether good thing. She writes:

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Documentary film on Bishop Gene Robinson to be featured at Sundance Film Festival

Macky Alston’s documenatry film on Bishop Gene Robinson will be on the competition lineup at the 2012 Sundance FIlm Festival.

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Love Free or Die wins at Sundance

Sundance Film Festival announces awards:

Winner of the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Prize for Grace Under Pressure:

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Faith, values and the Oscars

Last night I asked on Twitter whether anyone was working on the essay about the theological significance of the red carpet coverage of the Academy Award for today's Cafe. As of this afternoon, no one, to my knowledge, has come forward. So consider this an open thread on the faith and values angles of last night's Oscars telecast and the attendant media scrum. I'd like to kick us off with an arresting observation or probing question--something about The Tree of Life, or Moneyball and the Church of Baseball, but I've got nothing. Did faith rear its head?

"To announce my presence with authority"

Last weekend was the 25th anniversary of the great baseball movie Bull Durham. I've been hoping for an opportunity, or perhaps an excuse, to post a clip from the film here on The Lead, and I think I've finally concocted one. My business partner, Rebecca Wilson, and I spent the weekend with Nina Nicholson and the good people of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark talking about using the tools of contemporary communications for the purposes of evangelism. One of our workshops focused on visibility, and explored ways to make your congregation more noticeable and more fully engaged in the life of your community.

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Fruitvale Station: a new movie takes on additional resonance

The movie Fruitvale Station has received excellent reviews. Writing for The Atlantic, Jason Bailey says it may shed some light on the way that Americans have responded to the killing of Trayvon Martin and the acquittal of George Zimmerman for his murder.

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Wherever there is a fight so hungry people can eat

Henry Fonda as Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath:

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DVDs and graphic novels

Looking for a movie or perhaps a graphic novel? Here are two interesting lists.

Salon lists ten movies for the season suitable for teenagers, families and adults:

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A Hunger Games Eucharist

"About 130 young people gathered in a heavily fortified bank vault in the depths of the ‘Diefenbunker' near Carp, Ont., on Nov. 17, 2013. They were there for a Eucharist and sermon comparing the pacifism of Christ and the "redemptive violence" of the bestselling novel and movie The Hunger Games." The Anglican Church of Canada reports:

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Faith, Desire, and Addiction in Steve McQueen's "Shame"

It is Oscar Season and this year Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is one of the favorites. At Killing the Buddha, S. Brent Plate reviews one of McQueen's less well known films from 2011, Shame, which sheds light on religious faith as a (potential) form of addiction:

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Feast day of Olympian Eric Liddell, missionary to China

Today is the feast day of Scotsman Eric Liddell, Olympic athlete and missionary to China. In this clip from "Chariots of Fire," Liddell, portrayed by Ian Charleson, explains what it takes to run a great race.

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The real Philomena

Judy Dench as Philomena was nominated for an Oscar. Religion News Service has an interview with the real Philomena with PBS' Religion & Ethics Newsweekly about her journey:

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Eve and Adam: next movie blockbuster?

With all the Bible based movies being released, Religion Dispatches asks if Adam and Eve will be the next one:

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Noah the movie: eco-whacko?

Brook Wilensky-Lanford interviews Ari Handel, screen writer for the movie, Noah, on the environmental issues that some are calling eco-whacko, at Religion Dispatches. On Noah being an "environmental film":

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Another religious film: "Heaven is for real"

Claudia Puig reviews "Heaven is for real" in Huffington Post, the movie based on the best selling book about a 4-year-old's near death experiences:

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