Machine Gun Preacher – September 16

Second film of the day and very different. This is an American film about the life of Sam Childers, a reformed drug addict and violent criminal, who finds God and hears the call to go to Sudan and help the people rebuild their country. While there he sees the horrors of the war and specifically the terrible toll visited on the children of that country. He is inspired to build an orphanage and works to protect and save as many children as he can. The film stars Gerard Butler of “300” fame and this combined with the title of the movie suggests on first glance if this film will not be a bit of a sensationalist rip-off of the tragic events in Africa. Fortunately it is not just the Spartans against the terrorists but a human story that has some real depth. The story is real and while Sam Childers currently in real life and in the film has no hesitation to use his expertise with guns and his willingness to do violence in order to protect the children under his care, he also has a charitable and Christian commitment that lies behind his actions. At the end of the film while the credits are run there is some real life film of the real Sam Childers. The resemblance to Gerard Butler’s portrayal is remarkable. I think the film is really pretty good, exciting, insightful and a shocking presentation of the incredible violence perpetrated against children in that part of the world.

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