The Best Christian Movie You’ve Never Seen | Sojourners

The Best Christian Movie You’ve Never Seen

A meditation on what it means to stand up to institutional abuse without allowing the violence of the church to poison our own spirits.
Philomena (played by Dame Judi Dench) and Sixsmith (played by Steve Coogan) sit next to each other in a waiting room. Philomena is wearing a black jacket with a flower-patterned scarf. Sixsmith is wearing a dark brown jacket and blue jeans.
From Philomena

THE BEST CHRISTIAN MOVIE you’ve never seen (even though it was Oscar-nominated for best picture!) turns 10 this year. That movie is Philomena, adapted from The Lost Child of Philomena Lee: A Mother, Her Son and A Fifty-Year Search, by British journalist Martin Sixsmith. The film stars Dame Judi Dench as the titular mother and Steve Coogan as Sixsmith. While the book primarily focuses on Philomena’s son Michael Hess, the film more closely traces the mother’s story. As a pregnant teenager, Philomena was abandoned to a convent of nuns who forced young women to work without pay and sold their children to wealthy Americans looking to adopt.

On her son’s 50th birthday, Philomena weeps, clutching the only pictures she has of him. Despite her efforts, she has never been able to learn his fate. When Sixsmith, a disgraced journalist, learns of Philomena’s plight, he agrees to help her. What began as a distraction from his own troubles soon shifts to captivation. Despite Philomena’s assurances that the sisters of the convent have done their best to care for the women and children in their charge, Sixsmith uncovers a devilish conspiracy of silence.

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The cover for Sojourners' September/October 2023 issue, featuring a blue illustration of a woman praying. You can see tendrils of her nervous system glowing through her skin. She's surrounded by black bramble, stained glass windows, and a church building.
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