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Let There Be Light Movie Review by Deanna JasperKevin Sorbo
Wildfire Films, LLC
3835r E Thousand Oaks Blvd #356
Westlake Village, CA 91362
When a child dies, those left behind are inevitably left with questions that scream for answers. Why did such an innocent life get stolen so soon? How could a good God allow this? Is there even such a God? The new film Let There Be Light (opening October 27, 2017) shows the struggle of a father wrestling with his desperate attempts to find peace after the death of his son. For Dr. Sol Harkens, the pain of losing eight-year old David leaves him with a choice between believing in “the God who killed him” and denying the existence of God at all. “Rather than being vindictive, I chalk it up to bad luck,” sneers the sarcastic atheist. “Don’t look for any meaning in life because there isn’t any . . . All you need is your humanity.” Sol has become a famous author and speaker peddling his vitriol.
Then Sol is in a car accident, and during the four minutes when he is “clinically dead” David comes to him. “Let there be light!” his beautiful boy pleads with him. In the days that follow, Sol struggles to keep up the pretense his reputation demands without denying the reality of his experience. A doctor tries to attribute the incident to physiological causes, but Sol knows there was more to it. His ex-wife Katy, who has faithfully prayed for him daily for years, gently prompts him, “You’ve gotten the best scientific explanation and that hasn’t satisfied you . . . Would you consider consulting a different source?” He meets with her pastor, who helps him find meaning in David’s exhortation, “Let there be light.” After surrendering his life to God, he and Katy hatch a plan to literally bring light into the darkness of the world.
Let There Be Light is almost like a two-act play. The story summarized above sets the stage for the rest of the film, where Sol reunites his family and faces the testing of his new faith. It would be hard to tell that part of the story without this background, but it makes for a rather drawn out plot that feels resolved halfway through before a completely new conflict arises that drives the second half. Nevertheless, the film never felt like it was dragging. While some of the actors’ performances were more polished than others, the cast clearly establishes their characters and reaches the heart of the audience. Through the vivid picture of lighting up the darkest night of the year, the film encourages those who know Christ’s love to let their lights shine.
I watched this film as a three-year old boy in our church lay dying of leukemia. Like many in our congregation, I was wrestling with questions, not about the existence of God or His goodness, but about why he chooses to heal some and not others, about why “two or three” had gathered in His name for months begging for the life of this precious child and yet here he was, taking his last breaths. While I didn’t exactly find any answers to these questions as I watched Let There Be Light, I did find peace as it helped me look at the big picture. At one point in the film, Katy explains to her sons that death doesn’t mean the end; it is just like being “in the next room.” While our church community grieves over this little life cut so short, I think about how David appeared to Sol in his near-death experience. “He looked so beautiful, so peaceful, so happy.” My friends’ son may not have been here on earth with us as long as we would have liked, but he is with Jesus for all eternity, and once we have joined him there I doubt we will feel any grief over the fact that he got there before us. I am thankful for this film for helping guide me to that perspective.
We don’t need anyone to tell us that we live in a world full of darkness, but this film is a powerful reminder that we are called to share God’s light with those who desperately need it. The answer to the darkness of sin and death is the light and love of the Savior. Let There Be Light brings a message of hope just in time for the Christmas season as we celebrate God sending His Son as light to pierce the darkness.
Editor’s Note: This film is rated PG-13 for some mature themes.
-Product review by Deanna Jasper, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October, 2017