Current issues tend to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the viewer, so evangelical filmmakers have elected to market them as the fillings in celluloid pastries. The recipe has been fairly simple: mix several universal types of persons together with a current, middle-class issue, simmer for 72 minutes over a low flame of emotional response, sprinkle with comic relief, coat with gospel presentation, and serve in a crowded sanctuary.

At best, the rationale for dealing with issues is the desire to win eternal souls to Christ; at worst, it is the desire to sell films. Films have seldom been created to address issues simply because Christians should be concerned with those issues. But although that day has not arrived, several recent releases may have moved a few steps in that direction.

ASSIGNMENT: LIFE ABORTION: A FACTUAL DISCUSSION

Did the United States Supreme Court settle the abortion issue for all time (Rowe v. Wade, 1973) or open the door for the real thinking to begin?” So concludes the New Liberty Enterprises film, Assignment: Life ($84 rental; 1980).

The question sets the tone for this 50-minute film, which depicts a California-based journalist investigating the abortion issue. Though cloked in objectivity, the movie thoughtfully presents a volume of prolife data with a minimum of emotional overkill.

Such issues as a woman’s right to her own body, legality versus morality, the (fetal) age at which the product of conception becomes a person, and what constitutes the taking of life are discussed in a documentary format.

Diverse personalities, such as Edward Allred, a soft-spoken, professionalappearing medical doctor who owns and operates abortion clinics in California, and Dr. Bernard Nathanson, formerly operator of the world’s ...

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