I just watched the movie “The River Within” (available from netflix) and I enjoyed it. I have to admit, my expectations were low; watching a tiny budget, made by young professionals, “christian” movie is, imo, kind of like watching cousin Fred’s film school score. You don’t expect much but you do it because it’s family. After watching this movie, I felt like “Hey, Fred’s not bad!” 😉 The movie is basically a family film, but not in the sense of “the kids can watch it because it’s the movie equivalent of marshmallows” but in the sense that its subject matter deals exclusively with “family” issues – issues within the body of Christ. Seeking the lost within the church, remembering that people are more important than numbers, pursuing relational purity – in all its complex forms; all are issues that wider society probably wouldn’t really connect with. And, unlike other “Christian” movies I’ve seen, this one portrays life in its messiness. I have to admit, I’m real tired of watching a movie only to feel like my eyes are burned afterwards. This movie felt like a cool glass of water.
Because it is a tiny budget young movie, don’t expect the intensity of Tom Cruise or the slickness of Johnny Depp. Enjoy it for what it is and I guarantee you won’t feel like you wasted your time.