Filmstrips are still widely used and are an effective Christian education tool. A number of producers have recent offerings we can recommend.
Contemporary Drama Service (Box 457, Downers Grove, Ill. 60515) has two delightful programs for elementary children, We Know About You, Jesus, and Let’s Make Up. The art work and narration for the former were done by children themselves. Their quality is good and they show what local churches can do in producing filmstrips and cassettes.
Four productions by Ikonographics (Box 4454, Louisville, Ky. 40204) are best suited for older children. One is an addition to the “Folksville Series.” It covers the subjects of death, Sunday worship, fairness, and determination. It closes with relevant Scripture. Ikonographics also produce the fine series, “Good News of Jesus Christ.” These ten filmstrips tell the major incidents in the life of Christ. Moving exhortations and music are attractive features.
Traditional art is used in the Old Testament filmstrip series produced by the Daughters of Saint Paul (50 St. Paul’s Avenue, Boston, Mass. 02130), a religious order that serves the church through communications media. Each filmstrip is approximately 15 minutes long. Three of them are on the Apocrypha.
For children in seventh grade and up, the two parts of Looking for the Kingdom (Thomas S. Klise Company, Box 3418, Peoria, Ill. 61614) explain the ministry of Jesus, particularly the meaning of his parables of the kingdom. These filmstrips include an invitation to respond to the gospel.
Seventh-graders and older also are the best audience for three new filmstrips by Alba House Communications (Canfield, Ohio 44406). The Man Who Brought Happiness is the parable of the talents in a modern setting. Bread is the motif of this imaginative parable that requires more preparation to derive its full impact.
Alba House has been releasing additions to its delightful biblical “read along” series. The Fiery Furnace is fun for all ages and is best used with the audience reading the script that appears on the screen. The award-winning art is superior. Good program ideas are included. The same can be said for The Book of Job.
Thomas Klise’s five-part Scripture series covers Abraham through the prophets, and is a high quality blend of beauty in photography and art, narration, and music. It is specified for sixth through ninth graders, but is better suited for older youth. Attention is captured through a nonbiblical parallel, and the viewer is led into the Old Testament world. There are references to the Apocrypha in the study guides and there is a hint of sacramental theology.
The following are appropriate for senior high youth and adults. Cathedral Films (2282 Townsgate Road, Box 4029, West-lake Village, Calif. 91359). The Bible: Book of Faith has a printed guide that is a model for other producers. This six-part survey covers the history of the text, Bible translation (to 1946), the importance of the Bible, and its message.
The New Testament World: Geography of the New Testament Lands (Griggs Educational Service, 1731 Barcelona Street, Livermore, Calif. 94550) includes an excellent filmstrip, a slightly colorless narration, and 14 lectures. The program constitutes serious inductive Bible study. There are 70 excellent pictures and maps. For a group that is biblically aware of differences, the discussion would have considerable value.
Prof. Francis Filas of Loyola University (Chicago, Ill. 60626) has produced a series of filmstrips on the Holy Land marked by beautiful photography. However, the lectures are too long. The series includes The Seacoast of the Bible—Today, Biblical Locations in Jerusalem—Today, and The Resurrection of Jesus.
David’s City is the old city of Jerusalem set within the contemporary struggle for it. Emotive photography, powerful sound effects and narration, make this a strong presentation from the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (426 West 58th St., New York, N.Y. 10019).
Culture through art, music, and quotation from major writers infuse Edward Bauman’s The Crucifixion, The Resurrection, and The Holy Spirit, by Bauman Media Associates (3436 Lee Highway, Arlington. Va. 22207). An excellent guide comes with each program.
An outstanding biblical filmstrip is A Time To Be Born—A Time To Die, related to the book by Robert Short. It is masterfully narrated by actor Raymond Massey and covers all of Ecclesiastes. Six filmstrips full of photographs and an excellent guide are included, from Cathedral Films (above).
There are two filmstrips from C.S.S. Publishing Company (628 South Main St., Lima, Ohio 45804) with scripts to be read aloud. This enables the narrator to extemporize. The Word in Sign Language stresses advertising and The World Declares His Glory features human beings and nature in thought-provoking scenes.
Cartoon characters illustrate God’s love in The Polka Dot People and the Light (Ronn Kerr Associates, 1205 8th Ave. S., Nashville, Tenn. 37203). They illuminate God’s love in the face of human fickleness and rejection. Suitable for all ages, this filmstrip will be used often.
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