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Friday, May 08, 2009

"Faith Like Potatoes" - Get It!

I have been so encouraged recently to see so many Christian movies hitting the big screen. Movies like Amazing Grace, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof have done well and given Christians a reason to go to the movie theatre occasionally.

But even these movies, despite their inspiring messages and beautiful stories, leave me wanting a bit more. And usually the "more" I'm looking for is acting that doesn't look and sound like... well, acting. Don't get me wrong, in all of the movies I mentioned above, within 20 minutes I was so enthralled with the story that I didn't dwell on the acting. However, I usually feel like I am just watching a great story, rather than being pulled into the world the filmakers have created for me.

So when I came across Faith Like Potatoes I wondered how in the world this award-winning, international, Christian movie had bypassed the big screens of America -- and why. The Christian message is strong and clear -- was that a deterrent to our American film companies? The acting did not appear to be an act at all: it was sharp and rich and I felt like I was eavesdropping on the real lives of real people.

Based on the true story of the Buchan family, Faith Like Potatoes focuses on Angus Buchan and the extreme anger, stress, and fear he battles while he struggles as a white farmer in South Africa -- in a time when white farmers and their families are being murdered in massive numbers and extreme drought makes it impossible to grow anything, much less water guzzling potatoes.

About 40 minutes into the movie, Angus, at the prompting of his wife, goes to church. He is so moved by what he hears there he prays for salvation and immediately begins telling everyone, including the Zulus that help him run his farm, about Jesus. Everyone around Angus thinks he and his faith are crazy when he tells them God wants him to plant potatoes. South Africa is suffering a severe drought and nothing can grow in the resultant dust, especially potatoes. Angus's faith does not waver and he obeys God and plants his potatoes. His new faith leads to some beautiful spiritual moments in the movie and an emotional struggle when he realizes some things God does are beyond his understanding no matter how strong his faith is.

As I sat, alone, in my living room watching this movie, I was sitting on the Buchan family farm in South Africa; or maybe I subconsciously wanted to be, so I pretended throughout the duration of the movie that I was. At one point, during a particularly emotional scene, I actually jumped off the couch and screamed, "NO! NO!" at my television screen and caught myself whispering a prayer. Knowing this was a true story based on the book written by the real Angus Buchan made it all the more powerful as I was treated to a viewing of his life.

Despite the fact that the ending is given away in the title and a flash-forward scene at the beginning of the movie, knowing makes it no less dramatic when it happens, and I found myself rejoicing right along with Angus, his family, and the entire community when plump brown potatoes are pulled out of the scorched, brown, dusty earth. The movie is about a journey of faith and how God works when we trust in Him.

If there were any cons to the movie, it would have to be the relatively slow start. However, stick with it for 15 minutes or so, you WILL NOT be dissapointed. And it took a few minutes for my ears to adjust to the accents, but once I got used to it, I had no problems understanding what they were saying.

I highly recommend this movie and an occasional tissue. You can order it through Netflix or Blockbuster (I'm not sure if it's in the store).

Click here to view the video trailer: Faith Like Potatoes


  1. Sue said...

    Never heard of it but sounds good! I wonder where I would find that up here in Canada?

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Karen said...

    You're welcome. I don't know where you'd get it up there. Do you all have an online movie rental service? That would be your best bet. If not, check a video rental store - they might have it.

  3. Melissa said...

    I think you might also like Hidden Secrets for some awesome acting and good Jesus stuff. We have it in the library if you want to check it out!


  4. Anonymous said...

    I live in Manitoba, I got it in my local movie store. It's an EXCELLENT movie. Very powerful.