Earlier this month I took the kids out of school in order to see Kirk Cameron’s documentary, “Unstoppable”, at a theater not-so-near to us. My sister and niece joined us to make the three-hour round trip because we had seen the trailer (watch it above) and thought it would be worth the time and expense. It was.
Kirk Cameron has said of this film, “this is the most personal project I have ever made regarding my faith”. It was prompted by the death of a close family friend and in it, he seeks to tackle the monumental questions, ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’ and ‘Why does God allow evil in this world?’ The kind of questions all people of conscience ask at some point in their lives. Kudos to Kirk for his integrity, inspiration and strength in creating a documentary that rips across the current of feel-good, shallow secular humanist films that are typical of Hollywood.
The film wasn’t exactly what I expected, but yet I wasn’t disappointed either. I had expected more interviews and insights from others, but this is very much Kirk Cameron’s take on Holy Scripture, beginning with a recreation of Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. This was well done, discreet and thought provoking; I was given pause to consider how Adam may have viewed the earth in those first days. The depiction was even more beautiful as Eve beheld Adam for the first time. As a side note, I thought how this imagery is missing from modern films -- the notion of subtlety vs. explicit images, of male, female and agape love.
The youngest of our crew is in 6th grade and, although this film is unrated, it does contain some graphic scenes relating to Eve’s creation and the murder of Abel that may be disturbing for a young audience. In fact, the brutality of Cain is my only criticism of the whole documentary. I thought the scene of Abel’s death was too long and gruesome... but then again, perhaps the idea was to emphasize the life force in the blood.
Cameron isn’t seeking to answer these tough questions in a simple, concise manner. Rather, he utilizes story telling from modern experiences in view of God’s Word to prompt the audience to consider God’s response to evil since the creation of the world. It worked for us; we’re still talking about it four weeks later. The soundtrack is stirring, too. I was introduced to Warren Barfield’s, “The Time is Now” and my daughter has added several of the songs from Unstoppable to her ipod.
The highlight for me was being allowed a glimpse into the humanity of Kirk Cameron. It takes an enormous amount of strength to live our Christian life in this world-- maybe even more so for those who command a spotlight based on American pop/entertainment culture. The insight I gained into his humility leads me to believe that he is a genuine Christian man with a fierce love for God.
If you’re just hearing about Unstoppable for the first time, it’s too late to see it at the theater. It showed only twice (and grossed $2 million on 700 American screens ~ wow!) and will be made available in January 2014 on DVD for home use. I’ll be purchasing this as well, as it really is a very thought provoking, useful way to share our Christian faith and promote discussion about the tough questions of life and death.