In my mind, I have a story Hall Of Shame. And one of the contestants for “Worst Movie Ever” is a Christian drama made in 2011.
It’s supposed to be about forgiveness and healing and God’s grace, and it has a very noble message. But unfortunately, the filmmakers broke several story “thou shalt nots”.
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I hate it when Christian movies and books, because they are Christian and therefore clean and family-friendly and all things good, get away with cliche plots, bad story telling, poor quality, and sloppy researching.
I will forgive many things in beginning filmmakers, especially poor quality. Although, in the age of the iPhone, quality is becoming more and more accessible. I will even, if it’s not too bad, keep my mouth shut and try to ignore cliche plots and blatant story-telling mistakes.
Oh look, they’re all in church listening to a sermon on forgiveness. How nice. And look who just walked in! The guy who needs forgiveness. Well now, isn’t that convenient. What do you bet the guy is going to forgive him?
After all, my family doesn't like it when I criticize a movie we’re watching during family movie night. They don’t really care how predictable the plot is. They just want to enjoy a nice movie with a good message.
But the particular thing that I find hard to forgive about this movie isn’t its predictable plot, unrealistic coincidences, or preachy dialogue.
It’s the gross lack of research.
You see, one of the main plot points is a boy suffering the loss of his only good kidney due to trauma. Due to this unfortunate event, the boy must receive an emergency kidney transplant, or die of renal failure. And the unlikely match is one of the people the boy’s father has struggled to forgive.
There’s just one little problem.
There is no such thing as an emergency kidney transplant. (I’m using emergency to mean “will die within a week without it.”)
There’s this machine they invented back in 1943 called a dialyzer. It filters the blood, just like a kidney. They’re everywhere. Almost everyone knows or knows of someone who has been or is on dialysis, either because of total or partial kidney failure. While it wouldn’t keep someone alive forever, the dialysis machine would be perfectly capable of keeping someone alive while a donor was found.
These filmmakers had a boy dying of kidney failure when there was a machine just down the hall that would keep him alive for years. This is not something only a doctor would know. This is something a simple Google search on “kidney failure” would have given them the information on. It's hard to believe that in the entire cast and crew of people working on that movie, no one noticed this glaring error.
Someone didn’t do the research.
Don’t make someone’s Hall of Shame. Do your research. Be accurate. Know your subject. Otherwise, you discredit your entire work.