Movie Review: ‘Through the Valley’
Two families. Two backgrounds. Two countries. Two challenges. One family in America and one family in Rwanda. Two fathers. Two daughters. It’s a true story about what fathers will do to protect and provide for their families, even in life’s most difficult circumstances. It’s a story about healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.
My home church recently showed a premier of Veritas Entertainment’s new documentary “Through the Valley” , a faith-based and inspirational true story about how God orchestrated the circumstances and events of two hurting families. This is not your typical Christian film. The film interviews family members while showing a dramatization of their story. The Pan Pacific Film Festival announced their 2014 Stellae Awards, naming “Through the Valley” in the Best Mission Category. The Religion Newswriters Association (RNA) named “Through the Valley” as a finalist in the Broadcast category of its 2014 Contest. Kingdomwood Film Institute selected the documentary into it’s 2014 Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival.
Meet Randy, father of a Nashville family, living the American dream, yet distraught over one of his teenager’s rebellious behavior. My heart broke as Randy and his wife struggled to help their daughter, Andrea, through a traumatic season. An interest in Rwanda was sparked when Randy’s family sponsored a girl in Rwanda. It wasn’t until a mission trip to Rwanda that Andrea saw people more wounded than she but still with hope. It was then that she decided that she could move on.
Meet William, father of a Rwandan family, relying on the generosity of others to get by. William’s family experienced firsthand the horror of the Rwandan genocide in which 800,000 people were brutally murdered in 100 days. Barely escaping death several times, the family eventually relocated to America. Both families sought God throughout their struggles, relying on Him daily but unaware that He was orchestrating events that would eventually bring them together. In the end, one father brought his child to Africa, and one father took his child out of Africa.
Veritas Entertainment, maker of the films “End of the Spear,” “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” and “Last Ounce of Courage” is a media missions organization. Their goal is to get churches to use the film as an outreach event to bring people of all ages into the safe environment of the church and be impacted by the Gospel. Veritas partners with His Truth Transforms , an organization which provides counseling for those dealing with issues addressed in the film.
“Through the Valley” will resonate with those going through trauma, shame, guilt and unforgiveness. Due to pictures and discussion of the genocide, as well as discussion of sexual molestation, I would give the film a tentative PG-13 rating. I would recommend that only those over the age of 12 view the film.
The film shows the Gospel being lived out. It shows that when we serve others, God uses that service to heal even the greatest hurts. “Through the Valley” is a missional film, inspiring people to reach out beyond their own culture in order to share Christ. It is a wonderful outreach tool for churches to reach a lost community through a Family Movie event. Since the film deals with topics that so many struggle with, I recommend a response time and an offer for spiritual counseling and further help. “It’s often hard to see God’s love when we suffer, but we should always remember He will never leave us and He will bring us through the valley.”