By Aly Gibson
Too often, faith-based films are rejected by the whole of society. One reason may be different from another, but usually it is because they are just that; based around Christianity and God.
However, one such film has the potential to surpass the boundaries and reach a wider audience that goes beyond the secular film industry.
“The Grace Card,” which hit theaters nationwide on Feb. 25, is a superb and realistic approach to issues such as anger, racism, and the relationship between a man and God.
The story chronicles a cop living in Memphis, Mac McDonald, whose anger overtakes just about every part of his life and leaves him bitter and mean-spirited to even his closest family members. Seventeen years prior to present day, McDonald suffered the loss of his 5-year-old son during a routine drug bust on their street. The bitterness and racism within McDonald grow enough over time to sever his already strained relationships with his wife and other son.
Back to present time, a promotion on the police force is given to a black man, Sam Wright, over McDonald. Wright struggles with his partner’s anger and racism towards him throughout the movie while trying to balance his life as a cop and pastoring at a local Nazarene church. He wants to dedicate his full attention to his ministry,but with trying to support his wife and children, he is forced to keep working on the police force.
A new tragedy affects McDonald and his family, which makes him turn to Wright for help and guidance. Without spoiling the plot twist, eventually McDonald overcomes his anger and reconciles with not only his family and his co-workers, but also with God.
For this first-time production from Calvary Pictures and David G. Evans’ directorial debut, this film was exceptionally well done. The cast does not boast any extremely well-known actors, but the lead and supporting actors create real dialogue and believable emotion that is worthy of mention. No one comes across as an ‘over-actor’ or a ‘fake.’
Viewers shouldn’t expect cutting-edge cinematography, mainly because the storyline and setting do not call for it. The shots of Memphis, while some not recognizable, show the true setting of the story and capture what the city really looks like.
All of this adds up to create a tale that is believable. The story features real details and real characters who are dealing with true emotions that any person from any faith or background could relate to. This film does not center itself on Christianity, but merely uses it to prove that people struggle with genuine problems and choose to come to God to find hope.
While the film won’t win awards or probably gain the recognition it deserves, I encourage anyone, Christian or not, to see it. Know that what you are getting is authentic.