Pass the Light revolves around Steve Bellafiore (played by Cameron Palatas), a high school senior who takes issue with a local politician’s political campaign that uses Christian beliefs as an excuse to instill hate and belittle those who do not agree with him. Believing Christ would follow a more loving road, Steve hopes to debate the politician, Frank Baumann (played by Jon Gries), on this very issue.
Thus begins Steve’s campaign for congress, albeit unrealistic given his age is seven years short of the required 25. But along the way, he is able to stir up his fellow classmates to live life with love and not hate – a worthwhile endeavor indeed.
Pass the Light is a well-directed and acted movie with a great message, wonderful production values, and a nice, polished look to it. Directed by Malcolm J. Goodwin, the film moves along at a crisp pace, and the attention given to the acting is spot on.
Cameron Palatas does an exceptional job as young Steve, the anchor – it seems – for his family as well as his high school’s student body. His out-of-work father is played by Colby French; the range of emotion he has to display is wide, and the subtleness he dedicates to each is rich. Steve’s mother Anne is played by Milena Govich, and she, too, hits her mark consistently.
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The rest of the cast is made up mostly of young actors in high school roles, and director Goodwin helms this young cast exceptionally well. Other than Cameron, standouts include Alexandria DeBerry as the popular girl and Dalpre Grayer as the friend and sidekick. A good, strong young cast.
The biggest downfall of Pass the Light is the plausibility of the story. You have to enter in with a high level of suspension of disbelief; otherwise, you will be distracted. Besides the fact that the law requires a candidate be at least twenty-five years old (the movie actually plays this concern off fairly well), some of the characters are harsh stereotypes, and the mass movement by the entire student body is hard to swallow. But if the viewer allows these discrepancies and just sits back and the enjoys the ride, Pass the Light will draw you in well enough to spend a couple of pleasurable hours exploring this message of hope. Pass the Light of this message.
Pass the Light has a very strong Christian worldview, and the theme of love and not hate is a worthwhile motif. There are discussions about pregnancy, homosexuality, and sexual immorality, making for a probable PG13 rating.
“Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.”
These are some of Paul’s words to the Romans, and Pass the Light makes mention more than once about a person’s Christian witness can impact those around him, those who are already believers and those who are not, and since this impact can be negative or positive, each person should weigh heavily about what kind of witness they are to others. An eternal impact is huge. Jesus himself says in the Gospels:
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
These are strong words indeed.
Pass the Light argues that concern for another’s faith overrides the need to be right. Eating meats is not a issue for most of us today, but what are some other ways our actions can affect another person’s faith walk?
We all sin and fall short, so who really can accuse another? Do you think there are some sins worse than others, and that this makes a difference?
The bottom line message of Pass the Light and one we can all take to heart: the greatest is love.
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