Saturday, December 24, 2016

Movie Review of Hillsong: Let Hope Rise.

If you didn't get a chance to see Hillsong in the theaters, you can watch it in your own home now. Blu-ray and DVD are available now!

Hillsong: Let Hope Rise

This inspiring film chronicles the spectacular rise of the Christian band, Hillsong UNITED, to a worldwide recording and concert sensation. Capturing the on-stage energy and off-stage hearts of the Australia-based band Hillsong UNITED, HILLSONG–LET HOPE RISE is a new motion-picture genre—the theatrical worship experience. The film explores Hillsong’s humble beginnings and astonishing rise to prominence as an international church whose songs are sung every Sunday by more than 50 million people worldwide.
Additional Details
The runtime for the film is 103 mins. There are 38 minutes of the following Special Features, included on both the DVD and Blu-ray:
  • Bonus Performances: “Scandal of Grace”, “Captain”, “Wake”, “The Stand”
  • Behind the Scenes Footage: LA Record and San Clemente Writing

This was a great film to watch. Seeing inside the heart of the individuals in the band, as well as their collective hope to use music to "connect the human heart with heaven" was very encouraging. The documentary style of story-telling takes the viewer behind the lights and awe for back stage footage, personal interviews and even scenes within the member's home lives.

My favorite part was the concert footage. In most cases the words to the songs they are performing are on your screen, as they encourage the viewer's interaction and involvement right from your living room.

The movie walks through the history of the band, starting out small as a youth band in the eighties, and moving up to the international phenomenon they are today -- "the biggest band you've never heard of.". Yet a lot of church people are familiar with the Hillsong United band, either by recognition of their songs on the radio or by singing their lyrics in one's home church. However I doubt anyone could list the band members by name. I couldn't - until I watched this movie.

It was delightful to see the process it took the band to actually put forth some of those songs that we love to hear and sing. You might be amazed at the price it cost them to write songs that aren't aimed at fame or profitability but are aimed at the heart of worship.

A special favorite part of the documentary for me was a montage of the song "Mighty to Save" as people from around the world in various languages and locations pieced together every line of the song. What a beautiful scene of worship.

It was encouraging to know this movie was not a commercial for the Hillsong church. The members interviewed had a broader definition of "church", encouraging everyone to "find a local church, pour your life into it and you'll never be the same again". (Quote is from Senior Pastor and Founder of Hillsong Church, Brian Houston.)

Some of the band members had the opportunity to talk of the places of pain in their lives that helped bring forth the music and the heart within the lyrics. It was inspiring to hear their stories. Joel Houston, song of Pastor Brian Houston and lead worship leader of the band shared this.
I feel like we are at our best when we are broken. That's the moment when God gets to be made evident. It gives us the opportunity to love and to trust and to operate from a place of His strength.
I recommend this DVD documentary to those who love story, who love worship, and who love to see the hand of God move in people's lives. Very encouraging. The movie is distributed by PureFlix Entertainment with no inappropriate language or scenes. Visit Dove Foundation's review for the specifics.

It is rated PG. There are some scenes of poverty as the band travels to visit a Compassion village. There is mention of a suicide in one of the band member's family. There is also talk by some band members on what the physical and family toll is from the stress and travel. However, having said that, it is important to know I did not feel these comments inappropriate. It is clear from the interviews that these worship leaders and musicians are not in this "gig" for the money. It is a calling, not unlike a Pastor or Missionary family. These are not rich rock stars - they are humble people living a humble existence as they work out their calling and ministry. One worship leader comments on how his neighbors know he works for a church but they have no idea what he actually did last night - play a live concert to a sold out crowd of tens of thousands attendees in an arena somewhere else in the world.

Buy it now.

Not convinced yet, check out these links:

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