Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter Source:
Sword of the Spirit Publishing
Donald James Parker
Donald James Parker
Rich Swingle, Jeff Rose, Callan Wilson, Glenn Tucker, Joyce Swingle, Donna Botts
Paul Douglas is a bright, passionate twelve-year-old Christian whose goal is to be a missionary to the world, especially to the Jewish and Native American people. The rubber meets the road for his aspirations when a Jewish family moves in next door and Paul has the opportunity for hands on experience. As a result, he gets into trouble with his father for investigating the baptism of the Holy Spirit, a doctrine their church strongly disputes.
Abraham Maslow is a twelve-year-old Jewish boy whose father instructs him how to combat the proselytizing of Christian missionaries. After a tough economic situation forces the Maslow family to relocate to an area in which no other Jewish people live, Abe's father is faced with this biggest nightmare as Paul's prayers lead to some unusual experiences for Abraham. The ensuing ideas from those experiences collide head on with Micah Maslow's Conservative Jewish beliefs.
As the two boys get closer to each other, they drift further from their doting fathers. Both of them face hard decisions as their probe to find religious truth shakes the foundation of their family relationships. Abe's new found interest in the Christian Savior threatens his coming of age ceremony, his Bar Mitzvah, an event both he and his father have long awaited.
"The Unexpected Bar Mitzvah" is a powerful movie about asking God some questions instead of man. Young Paul Douglas (Callan Wilson) wants to make a difference in the lives of Jews and gets an opportunity to do just that. A young man named Abraham (Glenn Tucker) becomes his neighbor and is curious about the Jesus that Paul witnesses to him about. Abraham's strict father, Micah (Rich Swingle), warns Abraham to be cautious but when Paul suggests that Abraham ask God about Jesus, Abraham does just that!
There are ups and downs between Micah and Abraham, as well as Paul and his father Steven (Jeff Rose) after Paul becomes interested in learning more about the Holy Spirit. Micah sends Abraham off for a while to meet with a rabbi and to stay with his brother David (Donald James Parker). Soon, though burning with anger, Micah must make a decision after looking to God: Is Jesus really the Messiah?
This powerful and compelling movie shows that many Jews hold on to their traditions while still accepting Christ as their messiah. "The Unexpected Bar Mitzvah" kept me watching to find out how it would end. We are happy to award it our Faith Friendly Seal for all ages, although due to tension between characters it is not recommended for young children. This film can be a powerful teaching tool to show how important it is to address important questions to the one who is most qualified to answer--God! This one has earned five Doves, our best rating.
Content Description: Sex: A husband and wife share a kiss. Language: H (as a place)-1; some boys bully a Jewish boy, calling him "Jew boy" and "Mama's boy"; a few other names are used on fellow kids including "Scumbag" and "Wuss"; Butt-1 Violence: A kid shoves another kid; photos of bodies of dead Jews which is not overly graphic and is briefly on screen; a man shoves boxes in anger. Drugs: None Nudity: None Other: A father becomes very angry with his son; tension between a few characters; a man believes Christians are wrong, even predators, and out to turn Jews astray; reference to a book titled "You take Jesus, I'll take God"; a man removes cross from door of a house that he now is living in; a discussion on Harry Potter books and movies and how that some Christians are fine with it while others think they are tools of the enemy; a dad rips his shirt; a man tells a Jewish man that some Jews think being Jewish is more important than finding God.