Watch the trailer here: http://www.courageousthemovie.com/
Apparently the Sherwood Ministry, from the Sherwood Church in Albany, GA, has produced several independent movies in an effort to expand their outreach, but I've only seen one: Courageous is due in theaters September 30. My sister got advance screening tickets from one of her sales reps and asked me to go along. The screening was intended for local ministers and while I thought for a moment I might feel a bit out of place, the audience was a bunch of people from several walks of life, all who believe in the value of a father's place in the family.
The movie is about 5 men, 4 friends who are police officers, and one Hispanic man who's a manual laborer struggling to keep food on the table and a roof over his family's heads. They become friends, the 5 men. One of them suffers a tragic death in his family and struggles to come to terms with his loss. During that struggle, he thinks about a quote by his sheriff: that a high percentage of children without a positive father figure/role model eventually wind up doing drugs, committing crimes, walking away from their own children...
These men resolve, in a beautiful family ceremony, to be there for their children, to guide them, to teach them, to show them the way to God, to love them...
The movie follows their lives through loss, success, tragedy, and just the every day.
Sure, there were a couple of too-easy conclusions to some of the situations, but I LOVED THIS MOVIE. I was lucky enough to have an awesome father, a tremendous mother. I grew up confident in their love and support, knowing what was expected of me, what they hoped and prayed for me. I have two sisters who will most likely agree that we had a pretty Leave It to Beaver/Father Knows Best sort of childhood. We were loved, protected, guided. I BELIEVE that not only should fathers step up, PARENTS should step up.
But the purpose of this movie was to show how important it is for a father to be there for his family. It was an inspiring, powerful movie. At the end we found out that the movie was created by the Sherwood Ministry. The "stars" are not actors, the writer acted in the movie, people in church and in town donated a lot of the set props, the actors are "just people." They did a tremendous job, and quite honestly, I'm eager to see some of the other movies they did, too. Apparently their last movie, Fireproof, was the #1 independent movie of 2008.