Reel Spirit: A Guide to Movies That Inspire, Explore and Empower

Raymond Teague, Author Unity Books (Unity School of Christianity) $14.95 (438p) ISBN 978-0-87159-248-4
Spiritual people are just as subject as their secular neighbors to the Blockbuster Effect: the amazing incapacity, when confronted by a video store's thousands of titles, to pick out just one film to watch tonight. Teague aims to guide the perplexed toward ""metaphysical movies"" that demonstrate ""basic spiritual principles""--specifically, the principles of the Unity Church, a development of Christianity with affinities to, though a longer history than, the New Age movement. (Unity teaching includes the ideas that ""the essence of God is within each person"" and ""we create our world and experiences using God-energy."") Teague, who was a journalist before joining the Unity Church's publishing arm, provides short summaries of the plots of 150 movies, along with a page-long commentary on each film's spiritual themes. Short synopses point readers to an additional 250 movies. Teague covers a wide range of Hollywood's output, from the 1950s to the present, focusing mostly on films with a strong positive message, from The Wizard of Oz to the Star Wars series. But he doesn't stray very far from the beaten path: there is no mention of the spiritually charged The Shawshank Redemption, much less notable films that missed the American mainstream, such as Searching for Bobby Fischer or Babette's Feast. Teague's selections mirror standard box office hits so closely that readers may have a difficult time discerning where Hollywood ends and Unity begins. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 03/01/2000
Hardcover - 438 pages - 978-0-87159-259-0
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