All Saints is a movie adaptation of an inspiring true story. All Saints is a church in Tennessee, which is faced with closure after the congregation becomes so small that the church can no longer afford the mortgage. New minister Pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), a former paper salesman, is charged with helping the congregation adjust to the sale of the church. In Pastor Spurlock’s first week of service, some recently arrived Karen refugees from Myanmar seek his help. They are devout Anglicans who have fled persecution and war, survived refugee camps and have finally arrived in America to begin new lives.
Despite some initial reservations from the conservative congregation, the Karen refugees bring new life and vitality to All Saints. Ye Win (Nelson Lee) is the refugees’ stoic and kind leader, striving to look after his people in their new country. He convinces Pastor Spurlock to let him plant a vegetable garden in the grounds of the church to help feed the many families that are arriving. This leads to a revelation for Pastor Spurlock, who believes that it’s God’s will that they save All Saints church by turning the surrounding fields into a farm. The farm will feed the Karen families and save the church from being sold. Against all odds, the congregation members pull together to try to save their church.
Here we outline any topics, issues and ideas in this movie that might upset children and adolescents, so that you can gauge whether it is appropriate for your child. For example, children and adolescents may react adversely to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, separation from a parent, animal cruelty or distress, children as victims, natural disasters and racism.
Christian faith; war and persecution; refugees and asylum seekers
Here we identify any violence in this movie, and explain how and why it might impact on your child or adolescent. In general, movie violence can make children less sensitive to the use of violence in real life. Alternatively, they may become fearful about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world. In some contexts, it can also teach them to see violence as an acceptable means of conflict resolution.
All Saints has some violence. For example:
- When Michael Spurlock breaks the water pump he is overcome with frustration. He takes out his frustration by kicking the water pump violently.
- Two men talk about their experiences of war. They talk about being shot and using guns.
- There is a discussion about teenage boys having a fight where kickboxing skills are used.
- When one of the Karen refugee children wanders out onto the road, the police come and try to take the child away. When the Karen people gather around to try to stop them and the young men get angry, someone throws a glass bottle. Michael tries to step in, but a policeman hits him over the head with a truncheon. His head is bleeding.
Content that may disturb children
Other than the violence mentioned above, there is nothing in All Saints to disturb children aged under five years.
All Saints includes some scenes and themes that might disturb children in this age group. For example:
- There are some emotional scenes when things don’t go to plan, and some children might find these scenes upsetting.
- Characters talk about war, persecution and the experience of living in a refugee camp.
Some younger children in this age group might be upset by some of the scenes from All Saints mentioned above.
Nothing of concern
All Saints has some sexual references. For example, Michael Spurlock mentions that his wife is attracting some attention at church.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nothing of concern
Nudity and sexual activity
Nothing of concern
The following products are displayed or used in All Saints: McDonald’s and KFC.
None of concern
Ideas to discuss with your children
All Saints is a heart-warming, emotional story that touches very lightly on serious and current topics like war, persecution and asylum-seeking. Although it’s written from a Christian faith perspective, the themes of community and humanitarianism are universal and relevant.
This movie isn’t recommended for children under 8 years because of its themes. It’s also unlikely to interest children in this age group. We recommend parental guidance for children aged 8-10 years, and there are issues in the movie that you could discuss with children aged over 10 years.
The main messages from this movie are that:
- everybody, no matter their background, has something rich and valuable to add to their community
- amazing things are possible if everybody works together.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include the importance of:
- contributing to your community
- helping those in need
- fighting for what you believe in and doing what’s ethical.