Above: The official trailer for All Saints (2017).
by Christopher Carter Sanderson
As I walked out of the big-budget scifi film Interstellar, I took a deep breath and said to myself, “well, as a Christian and an Episcopalian, I’m glad to see yet another film about the redemptive power of love.” I didn’t need to wait until the credits were rolling on All Saints for a prompt to my beliefs and church; the ninth and tenth words in the script of All Saints are “Episcopal” and “Church.”
All Saints is what it is billed to be: a straight-forward plot about what happens when a Burmese refugee group becomes part of an Episcopal church just when it is about to go under. Yes, a more or less cheese-ball, hokey, sort-of-charismatic white guy is the pastor sent to oversee the sale of the church. And yes, he does have the seemingly obligatory change of heart and mind. Yet, along the way, All Saints is mercifully blessed with a few twists that keep it from being the unbearably saccharine commercial that it might have been.
All Saints has become something of an improbable success, rating over 90% on rottentomatoes.com. So your non-Episcopalian friends may be asking you about it. Watching All Saints with a crew of Episcopalians did lead me to wonder if All Saints could be a useful tool for evangelism in the church immediately. And, if so, how. I hope you will see All Saints and wonder the same thing. And I hope you wonder that out loud with your vestry, very soon. And, honestly, I think that’s alright.
All Saints, rated PG (for thematic elements, not language), directed by Steve Gomer, written by Steve Armour, runs 108 minutes. Sony Pictures with Affirm Films.
The author is a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Syracuse.