First off, this movie is based on a true story. That right there is always a good way to go, in my book. Second, you will need a box of tissues. Okay, you might not, but I surely did! Lastly, if you see no other movie this year that is from FishFlix.com, see this one.
Now for the real low down on Woodlawn.
Woodlawn High School is located in Birmingham, Alabama and it was the center of much change in 1973-1974. The schools in the local area were beginning to desegregated the schools and numerous children were being bused in from around town to go to Woodlawn High School. One of those students was young football player Tony Nathan.
This movie follows Tony as he navigates the treacherous waters of being a fantastic black football player in the mostly all white school. The struggles that he faced as he learned to stand on his beliefs were many. But when the whole team makes a choice to follow The One Way (Jesus) then life becomes much better and much worse.
We watched as the young people in school showed their hated for other young people, and it was hard. It was difficult to explain to my young children that these people just didn’t know any better. I had to explain this because we have raised them to look at the heart of the individual, not the color of their skin. That made this movie part history lesson as well as Biblical lesson as well.
The way that Woodlawn came together, not only as a football team, but as a town, inspired me.
I don’t want to share too much of the movie but I do want to implore you to consider watching this movie. It is incredibly well made, and it appeared to follow the true story as much as possible. I’m sure that life in 1973 was so much harder than what was shown, but it did a good job of showing enough without it being too much.
We let my 8, 11, and almost 15 year olds watch Woodlawn. I am glad that I was able to sit and pause the movie so that I could explain some of the things that was happening in the movie. By watching it with the children, it made it easier to gage their reactions as well as allow myself to show exactly how I feel about all of the nonsense that went on back in the 70’s.
Woodlawn went beyond just being a good movie that had a Christian element. It went deeper into the reason behind Woodlawn’s transformation. I loved that they brought in the revival in the 70’s (The Jesus Revolution) that Billy Graham was a part of during that time. I loved that it spilled over into the storyline, even if it was fact based, and that the main reason for the good things that happened in Woodlawn High School was because of the team leaning on the principle of John 14:6, “Jesus said unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes to the Father but by me.”
The Way. The Truth. The Life.
This was an emotional movie for little ole empathic me, but without question, I will watch it again and again. I’ll just keep my tissues close this time.
Are you curious to read what other movies the Review Crew watched this time? Visit my fellow Crew members to read more:
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Visit again soon to see what else the kids and I have to share with you.
In His Grace.