In today’s dark world of world of macro-level and micro-level challenges, honest, authentic but redemptive movies can help viewers of all ages process challenges and visualize hope. Good movies can be educational, edifying, and entertaining. They can bring inter-generational families together in many positive ways. Simply by attending a good movie, families can know that their patronage provides votes of support for more good movies to come.
On April 22, according to Mojo Box Office, the following good family and/or redemptive movies are still available in movie theaters, despite the fact that many have been out for weeks or months: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, Home, Monkey Kingdom, Cinderella, Do You Believe?, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Beyond the Mask, Paddington, Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, and more. Movie theaters continue to offer good family movie picks throughout April. The continuing Reformation of content and Renaissance of artistry is evident.
Out this week in theaters is the greatly anticipated family movie Little Boy. Mark Burnett, Roma Downey, and Eduardo Verástegui, producers of beautiful, faith-based, redemptive programming, are some of the producers for this charming, pure, and inspirational movie. Little Boy is set in a small town during World War II. It is a “memory” story (that takes liberties from realistic conventions) of a little boy, who is an underdog in the town. This boy is willing to do whatever it takes to bring his dad home from World War II alive. The story reveals the indescribable love he has for his father and the love of his father for him. This heartwarming, moving, hopeful story engages the heart, mind, and soul as it shows the little boy overcoming his own prejudices and the small-mindedness of the townspeople, and then inspiring others in his family and town to do likewise. Against layers of adversity, the movie depicts the moral purity of the child and inspires the same in adults who watch him.
Alejandro Monteverde, a Smithsonian Institute Award winning director, wrote the screenplay for this movie and directed it. This charming movie about faith, hope, and love in the face of wide-ranging adversity has a purity, sweetness, and moral beauty that has also been seen in Monteverde’s movie Bella, which he also wrote and directed. Alejandro Monteverde’s movies highlight themes of faith, hope and unconditional love in the face of adversity.
In an exclusive telephone interview with this writer, producer Eduardo Verástegui, who plays Father Crispin in Little Boy and who has also played the captivating lead role in Monteverde’s Bella, shared his profound motivation for producing this lovely movie. When he came to LA after touring the world as a Latino pop singer and performing for Spanish television aired to many countries, he came to understand the power of media as a “global megaphone” and decided he did not want to perform in anything that would offend himself, his family, or others. After four years of not finding appropriate work, he partnered with director Alejandro Monteverde and producer Leo Severino to form Metanoia Films, a company committed to projects that entertain, engage and inspire.
Eduardo’s team’s goal is to produce work with universal appeal that would heal wounds and unite people. He produced the movie Little Boy to awaken the wonder and innocence of the child in all of us and to inspire all to exercise faith to accomplish great, good things for the world, just as Little Boy’s faith is related to a subsequent earthquake. Eduardo and his team (that now includes Roma Downey and Mark Burnett as executive producers) are compelled to address the world’s need to get back to the “essentials of love, truth, and compassion.” They want to “turn on the Light in today’s moral crisis in the world.”
In this exquisite movie, Jakob Salvati, the little boy (Pepper Flynt Busbee), beautifully conveys the wonder, innocence, and child-like faith that moves the story. Further compelling acting comes from Emily Watson as Emma Busbee and Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as Hashimoto, who becomes a surrogate father under harsh adversarial conditions while Pepper’s father is away at war. Most importantly, Jakob portrays well the range of emotions and beautiful character development of Pepper, who serves as a role model for his family, community, and for all who view this movie. Fundamentally, Little Boy conveys the transformative, redemptive truth that to enter the kingdom of God we must all become as little children.
In this writer’s ongoing personal, exclusive interviews and communication with top leaders in family and redemptive movie production, research, and coverage (Movieguide®, Sonoma Christian Home, Movie to Movement, Pure Flix, Mentanoia Films, Burns Family Studios and many more), it is has been revealed that many more good family and redemptive movies are in progress and that positive consumer patronage and support is making a difference.
In the months ahead, moviegoers looking for other good family and/or redemptive movies can anticipate the following in theaters: Where Hope Grows, Woodlawn, Faith of our Fathers, War Room, God’s not Dead 2, Do You Believe 2, Noble, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair, a new Ben-Hur, a new Ten Commandments, a new movie about King David, a new movie about Paul (with Hugh Jackman) and many more. Watch for ongoing personal, exclusive interviews with producers and actors for these films and also for good television programs.
For more info, check out Exclusive Little Boy Interview: Stars Jakob Salvati & Michael Rapaport.
Written by Diane Howard, Ph.,D.