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By Kristine Abramoff

Picture 1

Overcomer (now playing!) is an inspirational family movie being released on August 23, 2019. It is directed by Alex Kendrick, and stars Alex Kendrick as Coach John Harrison, Priscilla Shirer as Olivia Brooks, and Aryn Wright-Thompson as Hannah Scott.

Overcomer is the Kendrick’s’ sixth feature film, and Stephen Kendrick says it’s their “best film in so many ways,” and that it’s “inspirational. It is an emotional rollercoaster; you’re laughing one minute and getting choked up the next. People really love the characters they meet in the film, and there are multiple twists and turns.” The Kendrick’s hope that Overcomer will help viewers find and develop their identities through God.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Stephen and Alex Kendrick about Overcomer and am excited to share some of our conversation and the hints they gave of some of the most exciting parts of the film!

Kristine Abramoff from Christian Life in London asks (Kristine): Overcomer sounds like a great family movie. In what ways do you think this film will resonate with all ages?

Alex Kendrick: We intentionally included various perspectives, from a teenage fifteen-year-old athlete who is struggling with her place in the world, to the coach, who has had his basketball team stripped away and been forced to turn to cross country. He only has one runner, and she has asthma; you can imagine what that would do to his confidence!

Our culture is debating identity and talking about what or who gets to define us. We believe that people of all ages are going to identify with one or more characters in the movie and be inspired to ask themselves questions about what kind of person or situation is defining their identity in hopes that they will ultimately find their identity in the one who created them.

Kristine: Alex, tell us about your character, Coach John Harrison.

Alex Kendrick: John is a basketball coach. When the local factory shuts down and most of the town moves away, he loses his best players. Like most men, if you strip away their job or title or their chance of success, they would get very frustrated. This forces him to really look at what he has allowed to define his life. His wife helps him walk and sometimes struggle through that, and by the end of the film he realizes that the anchor of his identity was in the wrong thing. First and foremost, he is a child of God, and this is something he can put his anchor in, because the character of Jesus Christ never changes. He learns to re-order his identity with a healthier vantage point.

Kristine: How does the relationship between Amy and John change as John’s relationship with God develops?

Alex Kendrick: They are much like many couples. They do love one another, but when things aren’t going well, they can be a little snarky. However, Amy does something in this movie that we love, and we hope that when couples see this movie, they ask themselves if they would do the same thing for their spouse.

Kristine: How do you think students will connect with the key character, Hannah?

Stephen Kendrick: Hannah represents where so many students are at. She’s growing up, discovering gifts, talents, and desires that are in her life, but also struggling with her sense of meaning and value and place in this world. While she is trying to figure out how to win in cross country, she’s also learning and discovering her need for Christ. I think teenagers tend to face so much depression and confusion because they are placing their identity in something changeable and unstable. Through Christ our identity completely changes, and we become the best, fullest version of who we are. Hannah is on this journey throughout the film. We not only see her in sports beginning to work through issues and improving her running ability, but we also see what’s happening in her heart.

Kristine: How do you think Hannah’s journey might resonate specifically with young women?

Alex Kendrick: Young women are going to watch Hannah go through her feelings, emotions, and some very deep struggles, and they’re going to identify with that. But Hannah also does something in the film that we love; it’s one of our favourite scenes in the movie. We hope that young women will watch Hannah’s progression of faith and understanding of her own identity and the way God has designed her and adapt those principles to their own lives. There are a couple amazing scenes where Hannah finds the love of a father. They are such good scenes; we can’t wait for young women especially to see her.

Kristine: Discipleship and mentoring are so important in the church today. Can you talk about how this film addresses these topics?

Stephen Kendrick: There is a mentoring element at multiple levels in Overcomer. You see the coach trying to pour into Hannah even though he doesn’t understand cross country, and he’s frustrated about his own identity struggles. There’s a man in a hospital bed who ends up mentoring and pouring into the coach because he used to run cross country, and there is Priscilla Shire’s character, the principal Olivia Brooks, who can see the potential in people. She pours into them, inspires them, and challenges them, and at the same time she spiritually begins to pour into Hannah, and explains to her what it means to have a relationship with God and be found in him. At the end of the film, Hannah has the opportunity to pour into some other people as well.

Picture 2 Overcomer is now playing at Silver City in London – for times and tickets, click HERE also has a variety of resources that address identity in various age groups, including Defined: Who God Says You Are, Revealed for teenage boys, Radiant for teenage girls, Wonderful for elementary students, and What’s so Wonderful about Webster, for young children.

Overcomer promises to be entertaining and inspiring, and Stephen says that it is a great resource for “pastors, leaders, Bible study leaders, business owners, etc. to take advantage of. Take your group to see the movie together, discuss identity afterwards, and dive into these resources.”

The Kendrick’s encourage people to go see the movie on opening night in hopes that the film will be expanded into even more theatres, spreading the message of identity through Christ to as many people as possible.

Click HERE to read the review posted in Christian Life in London, courtesy of PluggedIn

Kristine Abramoff Kristine Abramoff is a graduate student,
freelance writer, and artist living in London