Disclosure: This movie was provided to me at no cost in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you are a Christian it’s likely you have heard of the band Hillsong. The Australian based band belongs to the mega church of the same name, and have recently begun getting more popular. Their CDs are inspirational, the songs are sung in churches everywhere, and they are making praise and worship appealing to a younger generation.
The movie, Hillsong: Let Hope Rise is marketed as a theatrical worship experience, and encourages viewers to participate in whatever way they deem fit. There are a lot of concert scenes which include the lyrics for the songs on screen. Additionally, we as viewers are able to get to know the members of the band a bit better as we follow them in their personal lives. Also included are interviews with the band members and the founders of the church. The trailers and press releases say that viewers will learn about the church’s “humble beginnings” but we don’t actually learn much. We see where the church used to meet contrasted to their large building now, but I was hoping to learn about HOW they became so large.
There are times during the movie when I really felt for the band members, especially those who say they miss their families a lot while travelling. I did find it odd that this movie was was labelled as a worship experience though. I tried to imagine watching it in theatres (I viewed it online) and getting into worshipping God during the concert scenes, only to have it shift suddenly to an interview or something. Personally, that would be disrupting to my worship! If a viewer was able to continue their God-time, they would miss other parts of the movie. It’s an interesting concept, but if they had wanted to film to be about worship, they should have just filmed a concert and done the interviews later.
I did enjoy the concert scenes though, because that is likely the closest I will get to seeing Hillsong live! Overall, this movie was okay but I am glad to see it in mainstream theatres. But I wouldn’t take a non Christian friend to see it, because I feel like it doesn’t give an accurate representation of church or worship. Likewise, if someone had never heard of Hillsong, this probably wouldn’t be a good movie to see.
But if you are a fan of the band and want to get to know a bit more about why they felt called to join Hillsong church, I suggest watching Hillsong: Let Hope Rise.
“Film has been provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”