‘KIND COMEDY’ AIMED AT EVANGELICALS?
COVER STORY—Hollywood’s century-old love-hate relationship with evangelicals is swinging in the direction of compassionate humor, these days. That’s thanks to the kind hearts and keen talents of writers like Maggie Rowe. This week, our Cover Story is an interview with Maggie about the debut of her memoir, Sin Bravely—and her plans to develop this honest, humorous look at her evangelical roots into a TV series. We think there’s potential here for a new genre of kind comedy, poking fun at extreme religion without skewering all religious people. Come on! Enjoy our cover story, get the book and you’ll be way ahead of the trend when Maggie’s stories become the next big thing in series television.
BRIGHT WEEK & HOLY HUMOR SUNDAY
The easiest way to remember Stephanie Fenton’s Holidays & Festivals section of our magazine is via the simplified address: www.InterfaithHolidays.org.
LOVE TO LAUGH? For more than 30 years, one man has campaigned tirelessly to bring laugh-out-loud humor into congregations on the Sunday after Easter. No, it’s not some kind of pop-culture trend. In fact, Cal Samra’s campaign reaches back nearly 2,000 years to ancient Christian tradition.
AND SOMBER REMEMBRANCE—For all of our coverage of humor, this week, communities around the world will remember the Holocaust starting at sundown on Sunday, April 23, with Yom Hashoah. The documented rise of anti-Semitic incidents around the world underlines the urgency of remembering—and continuing activism to preserve vulnerable minority communities. Concerns are as fresh as news reports that Nazi sympathizers are part of a leading political campaign in France, at the moment. Stephanie Fenton reports on Yom Hashoah traditions.
GodSigns—Dr. Lisa Merritt embodies service to others—from her own family to the many families helped by her Multicultural Health Institute. GodSigns writer Suzy Farbman brings us the inspiring story of a woman who has dedicated her life to service.
FILM & FAITH:
WIN A FREE MOVIE!
ED McNULTY, for decades, has published reviews, magazine articles and books exploring connections between faith and film. Most of his work freely published at VisualParables.org.
Ed supports his work by selling the Visual Parables Journal, a monthly magazine packed with complete study guides to films. This resource is used coast-to-coast by individuals who love the movies and by educators, clergy and small-group leaders.
IN APRIL, Ed is offering 5 free movies on DVD and/or Blu-ray to 5 men and women who either subscribe for a year or renew their existing annual subscription for another year (before April 30). Here’s how it works: As April ends, we will put the names of people who subscribed/renewed into a hat and draw 5 winners. Then, Ed will email the winners, in the order their names were drawn, and give them a choice of the free movies. There are some wonderful movies available! The list of 5 prizes starts with the thought-provoking Silence and includes the hit movie Arrival, as well. Click here to subscribe/renew and get in on this drawing.
- LAND of MINE—In his Oscar-nominated film, Danish director/writer Martin Zandvliet gives us a new slant on WW 2, as well as an always needed lesson on human decency. (5 out of 5 stars)
- AN AMERICAN CONSCIENCE: The Reinhold Niebuhr Story—Ed gives 5 stars to this documentary—which is coming to public television’s WORLD channel on April 16, Easter.
- LOGAN—The latest X-men thriller also gets 5 stars.
- GIFTED—Ed writes, “Director Marc Webb and writer Tom Flynn have gifted us with a heart-wrencher that might remind you of Kramer-vs-Kramer.”
- GROWING UP SMITH—Frank Lotito’s picture about an Indian immigrant family can be a fun outing for the family, though adults will find some of the incidents a bit far-fetched. (4 stars)
- ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE—Ed reflects on the Holocaust film along with excerpts from Psalms. (4.5 stars)
- BOSS BABY—Guest reviewer Markus Watson calls it a cute film, worth 4 stars.
- WHITE HELMETS—”We are indebted to Netflix for making documentarian Orlando von Einsiedel’s short film so widely available,” Ed writes. (5 stars)