‘Valley of the Shadow’ ~
CFDb Movie Review & Recommendation
Valley of the Shadow – Set in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the final year of the Civil War, a 12 year-old southern girl must overcome bitterness. Annalisa Gray lost her father in the battle of Gettysburg. Her 13 year-old brother joins the army to help protect their home against the invading Yankees. Annalisa becomes a spy for the Confederate army desiring to do something important like her brother. But she soon becomes motivated by her desire for revenge, bringing her into conflict with the Christian values her parents had taught her.
Although the film was written, produced and acted by children as a home school project, the cinematography was spectacular, and the musical score was great as well. I actually cried 3 different times during this film, it really touched me. So many powerful messages throughout this film. Since they were all children, the acting could be improved on a little, but the storyline, message and filming were fabulous. Here are some highlights:
- Some real compassion shown throughout during a time of war.
- Beautiful rendition of ‘Be still my Soul’ song.
- The Scriptures used about forgiving and feeding your enemy. Powerful message about if you do not forgive, you won’t be forgiven.
- To obey God is better than pursuing the most noble cause.
- Do we follow God for OUR purposes or for His? If we serve Him selfishly then when we don’t get what we want, we blame Him. (I fully believe this is the main problem with Christianity today. People follow Jesus for selfish reasons, so their lives will be better. That is why people lose their faith when something tragic happens. They blame God for other people’s decisions. God gave us free will and that is the true reason we suffer so much. Sin is the problem but God promises us something greater…eternal life…which we absolutely do NOT deserve.)
Zoie Marshall, who played Ellie was adorable in this film and I imagine we’ll be seeing her again in the future since they mentioned she’s grown up in front of the camera. This little girl showed so much love and simple faith for others. It caused me to think about that verse in Matthew 18:3 – And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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