Not since “The Passion of the Christ” has a Christian film stirred this much controversy in the wider culture.
As WND reported, “Alone Yet Not Alone” made national headlines early this year when the little-known Christian movie garnered an Academy Award nomination for its song of the same title, “Alone Yet Not Alone,” performed by Joni Eareckson Tada. Controversy further erupted when the Academy then yanked the nomination away.
Now this much-discussed movie is coming to theaters nationwide, opening on over 200 screens across the country, Friday, June 13.
The double controversy of the nomination first, then its removal, raised hackles in both Christianity and Hollywood. An Oscar-winning Hollywood producer even blasted the Academy for exhibiting what “many will see … as faith-based bigotry, pure and simple.”
Yet Eareckson Tada has said she’s seen the hand of God work within the controversy, and like the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis, what could have been meant for evil may really be turned to good.
“The song was never meant to win awards, but to communicate a message of God’s faithfulness and love,” Eareckson Tada told WND at the 22nd Annual Movieguide Awards. “And now because of the decision, more people have heard about ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ than may have heard otherwise, so the message is reaching out to more and more people.”
George D. Escobar, who served as a producer, co-director and co-writer on the film, gave WND an insider’s look at the controversy itself.
“The attack on the Oscar nomination for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ for Best Song began seconds after the nomination was announced,” Escobar explained. “You could hear the audible gasp in the room when the Academy president said the name of the movie.
“Two weeks later, despite the song fulfilling every eligibility criteria for the Oscar nomination; despite the credentials of the song writers, Bruce Broughton and Dennis Spiegel; and despite the growing popularity of the song with audiences who were hearing it for the first time, the Academy president rescinded the nomination because the composer lobbied for the song via email,” he continued. “Yet every nominee across all categories lobbied for votes – clearly a double-standard was imposed on this song.”
But Escobar – who also serves as WND’s vice president of film and television and has directed several top documentaries for WND Films, including “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” and “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” – agrees with Eareckson Tada that God’s hand has been evident, even in the controversy.
“Ultimately, even though we were disappointed by the Oscar decision, God’s providence prevailed,” Escobar said. “Millions of people worldwide heard the song because of the controversy. People learned from the song’s lyrics that God would never leave them nor forsake them. That’s what matters. This hymn-like, prayerful, and reverential song will live through the ages, long after the others are forgotten.”
Watch the music video for the song “Alone Yet Not Alone” below”
As WND reported, the film “Alone Yet Not Alone” is based on the true story of a frontier family caught in the throes of the French and Indian War in 1755.
The movie is based a novel of the same name written by Tracy Leininger Craven, which tells the struggles of her ancestors in the mid-1700s when British and French forces were fighting for control of the American continent.
The Leiningers, immigrants from Germany who sought freedom to worship in the New World, began to carve out their homestead farm around Penns Creek at the outskirts of western Pennsylvania. Despite the arduous work, the Leiningers labor joyfully, nourished by God’s promises, which they memorize during their daily reading of the cherished family Bible.
Then the unthinkable happens: In a terrifying raid, Delaware warriors kidnap the two young Leininger daughters, Barbara and Regina, taking them captive hundreds of miles away and adopting them into their native culture. Yet through their captivity and eventual escape, they never lose hope and “their faith becomes their freedom.”
Watch the trailer for the film below:
Celebrated Christian author and pastor Max Lucado has given “Alone Yet Not Alone” his glowing endorsement: “I loved it! The story is gripping, photography stunning and message so wonderfully reassuring. On behalf of the scores of viewers whose spirits will be lifted up by this project – thank you, thank you, thank you.”
James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council released a video explaining why he recommends “Alone Yet Not Alone”:
Click here to find a theater showing “Alone Yet Not Alone” near you, or click here to help bring the movie to a theater even closer.