Many black moviegoers are used to films by Tyler Perry and TD Jakes, with religious undertones and themes, and a new film produced by award-winning Christian filmmakers Alex and Stephen Kendrick seeks to change the Hollywood game even further. “War Room” tells a story about the power of prayer with a cast made up of a majority of African-American actors, including New York Times bestselling Christian author Priscilla Shirer in her film debut.
“There’s an element to how we tell this story that has power and desperation that would be different if we tried to tell it any other way,” Alex Kendrick tells ReligionNews.com Â his decision to opt for a black cast.
He also added that when the executives of Sony’s Affirm Films, which is the film’s distributor, first viewed it, they replied, “If it had been told with a different race, it would be a different movie.”
[WATCH BELOW: ‘War Room’ Trailer]
Actor TC Stallings, the film’s male lead, told Religion News that he accepted the role because of his positive portrayal of the African-American family. “What I saw on TV and in movies growing up was entirely negative. The image of African Americans in urban areas was just bad language, bad credit scores and bad habits” , Stallings said. noted. “There were many honest Christian black families around the world, and that needed to be talked about too.”
Religion News writer Jonathan Merrit writes:
“War Room” comes at a time when racial tensions in America have escalated following cases of police brutality and the racially charged killing of black worshipers by a white gunman in Charleston, South Carolina. … The unanswered question when it comes to the “War Room” is not whether it will make money, but whether it can effect change in a nation increasingly divided between races.