The background noise you hear in this week’s podcast comes from the students of Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama. The new movie Woodlawn—starring Sean Astin, Jon Voight, Nic Bishop, and newcomer Caleb Castille—tells the true story of spiritual revival that broke out in their high school during the racially charged years of the early 1970s. On the day before the film released, Briarwood Presbyterian Church, led by The Gospel Coalition Council member Harry Reeder, sponsored a private screening for today’s Woodlawn public high school students.
This interview features Andrew Erwin, director of the movie along with his brother, Jon. The movie appeals to sports fans with its production values borrowed from ESPN, where the Erwin brothers worked as cameramen. It resonates with our own cultural moment, still divided by race and looking for hope. And it also encourages Christians to remember how God changes lives and heals wounds. The movie’s portrayal of the Jesus Movement introduces young viewers to a powerful work of the Holy Spirit that continues to shape the church today.
I’ll be back to see the movie with my friends and family as we talk about what God did in our backyard in Birmingham and how he continues to make known the way, the truth, and the life found in Jesus Christ (John 14:6).