The millions who have loved The Chosen, may be pleased that the company has a major feature film out just in time for Easter. His Only Son is about Abraham’s three-day journey up the mountain when he was told to sacrifice Isaac. This, of course, is an event that is thousands of years old, but brings up fresh questions about love, agency, and dedication to God during the hardest of times. What does God ask of us and why?
David Helling is the director and writer of the movie, which represents his dream come true. He has sought to create a truer version of the scriptures in film for a long time. These are pictures not made over by the false sophistication of Hollywood, but told as they are. He had only a $250,00 budget for this movie that was filmed in California, but he pulled off something remarkable—he’s helped to break the current glass ceiling on religious films.
The film opened in 2,000 theaters and earned $5 million its first weekend.
Like The Chosen, most of the film is crowd-funded and when Angel Studio asked their customers for donations to accelerate the number of theaters the film could open in, the crowd sent $1.3 million in one hundred hours.
This is so much success that Helling announced his next feature project. It will be on Jacob from the Bible.
As Abraham journeys with Isaac, flashbacks play for him. He remembers coming into the holy land, but heavy on his mind are scenes with Sarah with her passionate desire for a child, made even more so when Hagar delivered a child. Sarah is not a believer in this version, but follows her husband with some resistance and anger. Her barrenness reflects the barren land where they live and her inability to have a child is a constant, unrelenting source of pain. When Isaac comes, he will be burrowed right into their hearts.
Now that Abraham is on his way to kill Isaac, he is guaranteeing that he will lose both the people he loves—Isaac to death and Sarah to resentment and perhaps hatred.
However, the film makes a mistake in their portrayal of Sarah. Sarah, like Abraham was known as a person of great charity and virtue. This idea comes from many ancient documents about these two. She was his equal. In fact, when Proverbs says in Chapter 31: Who can find a virtuous woman for her price is far above rubies”, tradition has that the author is talking about Sarah.
I am pleased to see these earnest believers making these films of the Bible and finding an audience that loves their work (Including me). As David Helling talked, he often said, “I said many prayers” about the challenges he faced as he was making his film.
See the trailer below: