It was with dismay I opened up my copy of Friday, Jan. 31 Star Exponent and saw that the headline article featured a local Evangelical Christian blaming “anti-Christian bias” for a recent film having its Oscar nomination removed. The film in question is one developed by the recently closed Vision Forum ministries, “Alone Yet Not Alone” It's not been actually released for the public yet and is due to be released this spring/summer.
While the song is very pretty and it features the vocals of Joni Eareckson Tada, noted Christian author and radio host, the claims of Tad Butler come across as merely sour grapes. The Academy Awards chose to pull the title song from the competition because of the appearance of impropriety by a former Academy Award governor, Bruce Broughton. Not only did Bruce Broughton hold a position with the awards! , he was also one of the song's composers. What Mr. Broughton did or did not do cast a shadow of favoritism, or 'cheating' in the eyes of the board, forcing the board to make the hard decision to pull the song. Seeking to keep the award nominations free of any taint of unethical behavior is fair and just. Not “anti-Christian bias” that many Evangelicals retort when things do not go their way.
“Alone Yet Not Alone” really has no business at the Academy Awards in the first place. The story told in the film is one of racism and miscegenation, painting the First Nations Native characters as immoral savages. The premise of the film is that evil Godless Native American kidnap good Christian children and raise them in Native culture, while the children hang onto their Christian faith and are rescued. Obviously whoever scripted the film has never read “One Church Many Tribes” by Richard Twiss, which destroys the myth of Godless Heathen Indians they seek to show in the film.
If that wasn't bad enough all of the Native American characters are played by White Anglo-Saxon type actors in brown face. There are many talented actors whom are actual Native Americans they could have used Adam Beach, Gary Farmer, Graham Greene, or Russell Means just to name a few . Don't believe me? Take a look at the films “Smoke Signals” and “Reservation Road” just to name a few great films starring Native Americans. Another disrespect for a different race, not so subtle racism.
There are increasing larger numbers of good Christian films and entertainment coming out every year, films like “Flywheel,” “Fireproof” or my personal favorite “Courageous,” none of which promote racism or gender inequality or insult the intelligence of the audience.
“Alone Yet Not Alone” is not one of those films.
I've seen much of the movie and the acting is cringe worthy, the script stilted and wooden, with historical inaccuracies and the racial bi! as all throughout the film. One of the scenes that made me drop my coffee involved one of the rescued girls washing the black dye from her hair and emerging as a smiling blue eyed blonde, straight out of eugenics literature and race exclusionary ideology.
Evangelicals, if you truly want to witness to the world and bring others to Jesus it would be a good start to stop claiming persecution and behave every single day with the same integrity you claim you have. The Christians in China and other restrictive countries are being persecuted, you're only claiming it because the world hasn't been flocking to your beliefs.