Making the Grades
Billy Graham presents Last Flight Out. It's a faith-promoting film produced by his company (World Wide Pictures) and it provides the renowned evangelist, who has preached to audiences around the world, another avenue through which to share a gospel message. So if you are looking for action and adventure, this is not your ticket. However, if you are looking for a spiritual journey, this may be the movie for you.
When a down-on-his-luck pilot named Dan (Richard Tyson) is asked to rescue a Christian doctor from a small South America settlement recently taken over by a dangerous drug lord, he is hesitant to say yes. But it's not the obvious risks that accounts for the skilled aircraft handler's reluctance. Instead, it is because the missionary medic in trouble is his former fianc0xE9e (played by Bobbie Phillips).
The couple shelved their wedding plans about four years ago, after the plane Dan was flying crashed, killing Anne's brother and injuring her father. Blamed for the accident, Dan just couldn't work through the turbulent accusations and emotions. The same storm of unresolved issues blows through his heart again when Tony Williams (Cliff DeYoung), the man he thought would one day be his father-in-law, begs him to wing down to Columbia to pluck his daughter out of harm's way.
Eventually agreeing to go, Dan is unprepared for what he finds when he lands in Anne's corner of the jungle. Deeply committed to the people she is serving, the good doctor refuses to leave unless she can take all of the villagers with her. Even more frustrating is the peaceful way she, her colleague Mateo (Adriano Gonzalez) and the entire community of faithful followers are facing their predicament. With the encroaching threat of gun-welding terrorists, a dangerous mine field, and the limited capacity of the airplane, don't they realize it will take nothing short of a miracle to get an escape plan off the ground?
The seriousness of the depicted situation does require some violence in order to be believable. Although these portrayals are played down, they still include incidents of verbal coercion, children in peril, physical blows, explosions and bloody gunshot wounds (some that result in death).
As the agnostic pilot tries to navigate the bumpy turns of events, his companions try to help by explaining their religious insights and convictions. This comes off a little sentimental and contrived at times. Yet overall the story retains a feel-good warmth as Dan discovers the person who really needs saving is himself.
Proving storytelling is still as powerful of a teaching tool as it was in biblical days, Billy Graham's Last Flight Out speaks to the importance of serving, forgiving and valuing every human soul.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Last Flight Out: Billy Graham Presents.
When Dan questions Mateo’s willingness to go into dangerous places, the missionary answers, “My safety is of no concern. There is no better place to be than in the center of God’s will.” What does this statement say about his faith and commitment? What things would you be willing to risk your life for?
In the movie, Mateo delivers shoeboxes full of presents to the young children in Anne’s village. You can learn more about this Christmas gift charity at www.samaritanspurse.org.
To learn more about Billy Graham, check out www.wheaton.edu/bgc/archives/bio.html.