By Michael Foust, Crosswalk.com
The same filmmakers behind the faith-based hits War Room and Overcomer are set to release their next film on Sept. 10 with a spotlight on a subject at the heart of Scripture: fatherhood.
The documentary movie, Show Me the Father (PG), examines the biblical roles of fathers while weaving in biblical truths about the Fatherhood of God – all the while encouraging viewers to think differently about how they view the subject.
It's the latest movie by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, the brother tandem who made not only War Room and Overcomer but also Courageous, Fireproof and Facing the Giants.
Here are four things you should know about Show Me the Father:
1. It's the Kendricks' First Documentary
Alex and Stephen Kendrick have made six feature films under the Kendricks Brothers banner – including one, War Room, that reached No. 1 at the box office – but Show Me the Father is their first documentary. They landed on the idea following a season of prayer after the release of 2019's Overcomer.
"I love a great documentary," Stephen Kendrick told Crosswalk. "You can learn so much in so little time."
The Kendricks recruited Rick Altizer, who directed the documentary Russ Taft: I Still Believe, to direct Show Me the Father. Alex, Stephen and their brother Shannon are executive producers.
The goal was for the documentary to "feel more cinematic" and like a feature movie, Stephen Kendrick said. It has an original score.
"In the editing room … we're constantly modifying the storytelling – taking out anything that drags, anything that's weak, anything that's unnecessary, and you keep the story moving," Stephen Kendrick said. "And you hopefully will distill it down to the gold."
2. It's Entertaining … and Has a Few Surprises
It may be a documentary, but Show Me the Father has a few jaw-dropping moments that would be called "plot twists" if it were a drama. (Don't worry: I won't ruin it for you.)
It also was made without a narrator – a unique feature that adds to its Hollywood-style feel. (Some of the best docs – such as Apollo 11 – also had no narrator.)
And while Show Me the Father may be partially aimed at men, the film is for anyone – including women – who want to better understand the Fatherhood of God and the role of earthly fathers. Kendrick believes it will encourage viewers who have a poor relationship with their dads.
Some of the filmmakers behind the camera, Kendrick said, were not raised under godly fathers.
"When you talk about fatherhood, even [with] the most hardened criminal, you're pulling on some heartstrings," he said. "Our prayer has been that people have an encounter with the Holy Spirit while they're watching this movie because it is going to move you emotionally."
3. It Might Make You a Better Father
At least, that's the Kendricks' goal. Show Me the Father includes tragic stories of fatherhood as well as plenty of inspiring ones, allowing the viewer to see what happens when a child is raised in a bad home – and what happens when a child is reared in a good one.
The film combines those stories with biblical truths about the Fatherhood of God. (Fatherhood resources are available at FatherHelp.net)
"Fatherhood on Earth was created out of the Fatherhood of God," Stephen Kendrick said. "And He did not create it to replace Him. [Instead,] he created it to represent and then introduce Him to everybody."
It includes interviews with Focus on the Family's Jim Daly, Texas pastor Tony Evans and former NFL coach and player Sherman Smith, among others.
The film's few stories of tragedy include a redemptive ending. Such stories, Kendrick said, "reveal that in the midst of all of our human brokenness, and even with dysfunctional fathers, God still shines as the perfect Father that we all long for and need."
4. It's Excellent … and Convicting
Show Me the Father isn't a boring documentary.
Like the Kendricks Brothers' feature films, it inspires and convicts you – and leaves you reaching for the box of tissue.
When the credits rolled at my screener, I wanted to go hug my kids.
"One of the goals [is] that when people walk out of the theater, they will have a better understanding of how good and faithful God is as their Father -- and they would learn to trust Him as their father," Stephen Kendrick said.
It's a film that will have an impact when it's viewed in theaters this month and when people watch it in a decade.
"If people five to 10 years down the road say, 'After I saw that film, God became my Father' – then that is success for us more than anything else," Stephen Kendrick said.
Show Me the Father is rated PG for thematic material
Photo Credit: ©Felipe Bustillo/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.