All Saints Parent Guide
Based on a true story, this faith-based movie is a sincere effort that enlightens and inspires.
Parent Movie Review
Problems with possibly objectionable content are not an issue in the faith-based movie All Saints. Other than a few moments of images from a website depicting the strife of living in a country with conflict and a tussle with police that leaves a character with a bloodied forehead, there are many good reasons to consider this title for family viewing.
The script is based on the true story of Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), a former salesman turned Episcopalian minister who has been assigned to his first church. However, instead of being asked to build up a congregation, his calling is to disband the small group of parishioners who regularly attend All Saints Episcopalian Church in Smyrna, Tennessee.
Located in an impoverished area, the $850,000 mortgage on the building is far greater than what’s coming in on the collection plate. With an eager developer wanting to build a commercial property on the land, it appears Reverend Spurlock’s assignment will be short and simple—until an unexpected group of new worshippers populate the empty pews.
Refugees from Southeast Asia, known as the Karen people, have settled within the small community. Escaping from the violence of political and religious persecution in their homeland, the legal immigrants were taught Christian principles by Anglican missionaries in Burma (Myanmar). Led by former solider Ye Win (Nelson Lee), also the only member of the group who speaks English, they are happy to have found an Episcopal church near their American home. In need of financial and spiritual support, the newcomers believe they can find both within the church community.
Not surprisingly, Michael doesn’t see how their tiny contingent, who can’t even cover their own expenses, can possibly support the struggling exiles. Nor is his “boss”, Bishop Thompson (Gregory Alan Williams), likely to be happy if he becomes distracted from the task of selling the building. However, Michael discovers a higher authority has different plans. Hearing a voice one rainy evening, the new preacher is immediately convinced God’s solution involves the Karen people (who are former farmers), the tiny flock of worshippers (some dealing with racial issues), the land around the sacred edifice and, most importantly, Reverend Spurlock’s faith.
Shot at the actual church that’s the centerpiece of the story and casting as extras many of the Karen people who have settled in the area, All Saints is a sincere effort that enlightens and inspires. It illustrates what a community of people (believers and otherwise) can achieve if they are willing to sacrifice and work together. It’s also a gentle reminder for church goers to deeply consider the purpose of their beliefs—especially when the call to serve others seems too inconvenient or uncomfortable.Directed by Steve Gomer. Starring Cara Buono, John Corbett, Barry Corbin. Running time: 108 minutes. Theatrical release August 25, 2017. Updated August 31, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is All Saints rated PG? All Saints is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic elements.
Characters make mention of war atrocities, such as genocide, deaths of community and family members, POW camps, rape, torture, starvation and injuries. Photos show a man holding a gun, a man missing a leg and a crying child. The scar from a bullet injury is seen. Characters are wary of authority figures. During a scuffle with police, a man is hit in the head: a bloody injury results. Characters discuss a racially inspired fight that took place between teens in a high school and the possible consequence of juvenile detention.
Characters embrace and kiss. Mild sexual references are made.
Mild racial slurs are heard. Terms of deity are used, usually in a religious context.
Drug and Alcohol Use:
Characters are shown with cigarettes, but no smoking is seen.
Page last updated August 31, 2017
More parents' guide for All Saints after the break...
All Saints Parents' Guide
One of the characters in this movie talks about serving a mission in Africa. Why do exotic places or impoverished countries seem like the sort of place one would go to serve a mission? What kind of charitable work do the members of All Saints discover they can do without leaving their hometown? Is helping someone locally less of a “mission” than traveling to far off locales? Are there people in need in every community? What could you do to help the less fortunate where you live?
How does helping the Karen people and working on the farm, help to bond the people living in Smyrna, Tennessee? Why might having a common cause bring a diverse group of people together?
News About "All Saints"
Movies about faith can be a tough sell in Hollywood. But that didn't deter filmmaker Steve Gomer. After reading an article in a newspaper about an Episcopal priest named Michael Spurlock and his work with a group of refugees from Myanmar (formerly called Burma), Gomer felt he had found a story worthy of adaptation to the big screen.
Michael Spurlock became a priest a little later in life. After graduation from seminary he was sent to Smyrna, Tennessee and assigned to close down a small church with a smaller congregation. But before he could follow those orders, about 70 Karen refugees showed up. These Asian Christian had been forced to flee their homeland and were trying to put down roots in their new country. The faithful little followers provide Spurlock with a unique alternative to selling the house of worship -- by suggesting he use the surrounding land as a farm. Needless to say, it takes a while for the idea to grow on the local parishioners and Spurlock's superiors. But when it finally does, something beautiful blooms in the midst of trial and adversity.
Learn more about the challenges of turning Michael Spurlock’s story into a movie.
Discover more about the Karen people of Southeast Asia.