If you want to just explore faith, there is no shortage of amazing films. Check out the incredible Arts & Faith Top 100 list. A film like 1928’s silent La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (#1) or the very underrated animated film The Iron Giant (#99) powerfully speak to all kinds of faith.
When I think of films about faith, I think of Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, a documentary about the West Memphis Three and their 18 year journey towards freedom from their false incarceration (according to the film). While I never saw the earlier two films, this one stands on its own and is a fascinating watch of how to stay strong over decades of injustice.
But when you think movies and faith over the decades, you can’t leave out Rocky Balboa.
Rocky Balboa or the Italian Stallion is, of course, the boxer from 6 movies who overcomes long odds in matches against superior opponents. Rocky always takes an incredible beating in his matches. And while he has skill and training and strategy, he mostly has heart on his side. Rocky is about doing the impossible even though it is impossible. And he does it movie after movie after movie. And we always cheer.
Rocky explains some of his philosophy to his grown son in Rocky Balboa. The short video is well worth the watch here on YouTube, but you can read it too. Rocky believes in always having faith in yourself and therefore always striving to move forward. Or as the poster says, “Never give up. And never stop believing.”
If a punch drunk brawler from Philadelphia – chosen to fight Apollo in the first film because he is white, local, and has a memorable nickname – can win the Heavyweight Championship of the world twice, defeat Mr. T, overcome a giant Russian fighter by training in Siberia, and even holding his own against the heavyweight champion of the world at the age of 59, then what’s your excuse?
Yo Adrian, you can do it!
#BlogElul is the brainchild of @imabima who blogs at imabima.blogspot.com. For the 30 days of Elul, the spiritual preparation before the Jewish High Holy Days, many Jews will be reflecting on the themes of the season. My posts will all be through the lens of movies. You can see all the themes in the graphic. Follow all the other excellent postings through Twitter at #BlogElul along with related items #Elulgram and #PopCultureElul.