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When Franklin Graham made a recent statement that somewhat criticized Billy: The Early Years—an upcoming movie about his father—Franklin's oldest sister came to the film's defense and questioned her brother's judgment.

"I don't want to say anything wrong about my brother, but I just don't see it the way he does," Gigi Graham, the oldest of Billy Graham's five children, told Christianity Today. "Franklin called me and said he thought the movie was dorky. But I think it's good and positive, and I think it honors the Lord and my mother and daddy.

"I don't know why Franklin felt like he had to make a public statement. I wish he'd just left it alone."

Billy: The Early Years chronicles Billy Graham's teen years, young adulthood, and calling to the ministry. Directed by Robby Benson and starring Armie Hammer, the film doesn't hit theaters until October 10, but a rough cut is already being shown to pastors and churches to get the early buzz going.

Franklin Graham, president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, released a statement on the organization's official website, saying that the BGEA "has not collaborated with nor does it endorse the movie, Billy: The Early Years."

Mark DeMoss, Graham's spokesman, told CT that Graham was simply trying to clarify what was becoming many pastors' misconception—that the film was authorized by the BGEA.

"We've been hearing about a lot of confusion, particularly at these early screenings, about the BGEA's affiliation with the film," DeMoss said. "Some folks promoting the movie have said things that foster that impression, and it's a false impression. The BGEA didn't have anything to do with this film. It's an independent film."

Billy Graham has made no public statement about ...

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Franklin Graham Criticizes Film About His Dad
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August 2008

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