“Woodlawn”

 

 

“Woodlawn” movie on DVD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment came from Netflix to our house this week. It’s got a mixture of football games and relationship intrigue in the storyline.

 

This movie opened with a bus burning in Birmingham, AL in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s day, and is based on a true story.

 

Woodlawn High School was forced to integrate African-American students with white students in the early 1970’s. Students and parents yelled and pushed while police shepherded the new young people from the bus through a pathway to their building.

 

“Woodlawn” is an Erwin Bros. film. Pure Flix presented in association with Provident Films a Kevin Downes production of a movie based on the lives of football players and their friends and family, along with coaches and faith-filled mentors. The film was rated PG. The website for the film is http://woodlawnmovie.com and this picture comes from there:

 

A top-notch football player catches the eye of the head coach of an Alabama University at a game, and he tells the high schooler that they’ll meet again.

 

The next time we see Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille), he’s changing schools.

 

Tandy Gerelds (Nic Bishop), is the vice-principal of Woodlawn High, and more importantly, the football coach. He’s not thrilled to have new players with a dark complexion, but he loves football and sees what an asset these young men will be to the team. To say that he protects the new guys from harsh hits at practice would be a lie, but he doesn’t encourage abuse as some rival coaches suggest to their squad.

 

I enjoyed hearing favorite Christian songs in the film from the time, like “They’ll Know We are Christians by Our Love” based on 1 John 4 in the New Testament:

 

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they’ll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we’ll guard each man’s dignity and save each man’s pride
And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.
Songwriters: PETER SCHOLTES
© THE LORENZ CORPORATION
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

 

The following information is from the movie’s website provided for the press:

“Woodlawn stars Sean Astin (Rudy, The Lord of the Rings trilogy), Nic Bishop (Covert Affairs, Body of Proof), Caleb Castille (in his feature film debut), C. Thomas Howell (The Outsiders, Red Dawn), Sherri Shepherd (The View, Precious) and Academy Award®-winner Jon Voight (Coming Home, Ali, National Treasure). The film is directed by the Erwin Brothers (Moms’ Night Out, October Baby) from a script by Jon Erwin and Quinton Peeples (“11.22.63,” “Unforgettable”). Executive producers are Mark Burnett and Roma Downey.”

 

Before a major playoff game, Tony Nathan is running the stairs at the stadium when he encounters the quarterback from the rival school. When asked why thousands of people would come to see a high school game, Tony responds, “For hope.”

 

More folks attended that high school game than any other, ever.

 

They got to view football players clash on the field, yet help opposite team members up from the ground after the play ended. I felt hope that Jesus can change hate-filled people to love-filled persons of God and of mankind. I’ve seen it and experienced it. I lived in that stressful era of uncertainty as society grappled with the assault on authority and the status quo.

 

May God bless you!

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