Prepare yourself people this is not a “Christian” film. The following review may contain some spoilers so if you want to see this film with no idea of what this film is please book mark this post and watch the film and then return here and tell me if you agree, or not. Warning: This film contains excessive violence, language, and sexual content.
This film is not boring, we open to a scene in Uganda as the LRA is attacking a village. Intense, shocking, violence fills the screen as we watch a child being forced to kill his own mother.
OK you have my attention, what is this film?
Interestingly enough, this film is based on a real man’s life. Sam Childers according to his website was in a lot of trouble,
“By his early teens Sam was constantly in fist fights, selling hard drugs and sleeping with married women. He continued to slide deeper into a life of violence and crime until he became a Shotgunner – an armed guard for drug dealers. It was during this stage of his life that he met Lynn, a stripper, who would later become his wife.” -THE SAM CHILDERS STORY
According to the real Sam and also the Hollywood version of the story, Sam received a message from God to build an orphanage. Hey obeys his conviction and sacrifices and risks everything. Half of the film you see Sam becoming more and more zealous for his cause and his heart becomes filled with the same hate and rage that had once separated him from God, his family, and love.
Good things gone bad?
We see Sam come out of a life of drugs and violence and abuse towards his wife and we see a spark of his past as he lashes out at the people in his life because they do not understand the struggles he is going through. In the film Sam ends up blaming God and ranting on about how he must do it himself. He sells his business and goes back full Rambo style and blows away a ton of LRA soldiers and then the movie ends. I felt disappointed and cutoff from the ending.
This specific cause has been in the public eye and mine since the Invisible Children film came out Kony 2012. I had no idea that these two stories were the same. They both seek to expose the truth about what has happened in Uganda. Machine Gun Preacher focus’ more on the man than on the problem and how he shifted his destructive behavior towards a cause as a way to redeem his past. Classic Hollywood, trying to insert this idea of Karma.
Karma has nothing to do with anything, the rain falls on the wicked and the righteous, bad things happen to everybody sooner or later, and Karma is the opposite of Grace. Sam was not trying to redeem himself, the truth is he understood Grace and was giving grace to the children of Uganda.
So some questions I ask myself and you after watching this film:
Is God using Sam Childers?
Does God tell people to kill?
How do we stand up for what is right?