Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

I Still Believe

also known as “Aşka İnanıyorum,” “Cosa mi lasci di te,” “Enquanto Estivermos Juntos,” “Eu Ainda Acredito,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for thematic material.

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan
CONTRIBUTOR

Good
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Adults • Young-Adults • Teens
Genre:
Biography Christian Drama IMAX
Length:
1 hr. 55 min.
Year of Release:
2020
USA Release:
March 11, 2020 (IMAX theaters)
March 13, 2020 (wide release)
Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.) click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.) Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)
Relevant Issues
Jeremy Camp
Jeremy Camp

About the real-life American contemporary Christian music singer-songwriter Jeremy Camp and his first wife, Melissa Lynn Henning-Camp, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer shortly before they married

Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)

Where did CANCER come from? Answer

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

A love story as God intended, between two people and God

Hope in the midst of pain

What God did amidst all the hard things Jeremy Camp went through

Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)

TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer

How to develop that kind of love

For a follower of Christ, what is LOVE—a feeling, an emotion, or an action? Answer

Love that goes beyond fear and beyond any doubt

How God can take you through your greatest fear and come out on the other side still loving God and having grown spiritually and emotionally—and found beauty, purpose, and a meaning in those trials

Sometimes God uses such things more than He uses the good things that happen to shape us, to mold us and to give us our voice

Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)
Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD THINGS—Why are they in our world if a good God created us? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer


Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.) Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.) Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.) Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.) Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)
Featuring: K.J. ApaJeremy Camp
Britt RobertsonMelissa Lynn Henning-Camp
Gary SiniseTom Camp
Shania TwainTerry Camp
Abigail CowenAdrienne Camp
Melissa RoxburghHeather Henning
Nathan ParsonsJean-Luc
Cameron Arnett … Dr. Furst
Reuben Dodd … Josh Camp
Nicolas Bechtel …
Tanya Christiansen … Janette Henning
Gregory Hobson … Himself
Katie Anne Moy … Jacqueline
See all »
Director: Jon Erwin
Andrew Erwin
Producer: Kevin Downes Productions
Kingdom Story Company
Erwin Brothers Entertainment
See all »
Distributor: Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)
Copyright, Lionsgate (Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.)

The young, aspiring artist, Jeremy Camp (K.J. Apa—“Riverdale” TV series, “The Last Summer,” “The Hate U Give”), lives a quiet, humble life in the rural town of Lafayette, Indiana with his father, Tom (Gary Sinise), his mother, Terry (Shania Twain), and his two brothers. We come upon Jeremy as he is about to leave home and head to Murietta, California to attend the Calvary Chapel Bible College.

One night at his school, he sneaks backstage at a contemporary Christian rock concert and, while watching he spots a beautiful young woman in the audience who’s fully engaged in the worship. He name is Melissa (Britt Robertson). Jeremy immediately decides he has to meet this girl.

Soon afterwards, the friendship between Melissa and Jeremy grows into something more… a relationship. However, things take a turn for the worst as it’s discovered that Melissa is diagnosed with an aggressive, advanced stage of ovarian cancer. Despite her diagnosis, Jeremy deeply loves Melissa and asks Melissa for her hand in marriage, and she agrees.

“I Still Believe” is a story of love, faith, and a reminder that God is still present, even when the answer to our prayer is, “No.”

“I Still Believe” is a very daring, yet beautifully told story revealing Jeremy Camp’s walk with God. What makes the film so daring is not simply using more well-known actors like K.J. Apa and Britt Robertson to attract movie-goers to the film (the last time I remember seeing this was in the film “I Can Only Imagine” with actors like Cloris Leechman and Dennis Quaid making appearances in addition to J. Michael Finney playing the lead), but to construct an entire feature film, nearly two hours (moderately-paced) around such a personal, and albeit, tragic set of circumstances. Not only that, Jeremy Camp, himself, ensured that he was part of the creative process in making the film, ensuring accuracy and making sure the right message was getting across to the audiences. As Mr. Camp stated…

“It tells my story and shares what God has done amidst all the hard things I went through. It shows hope in the midst of pain.”

To put it simply, “I Still Believe” is a work of cinematic excellence and beauty, prominently displaying the joys and hardships of living a life for Christ without “sugarcoating it,” which, to be honest, is nice to see. For me, personally, I feel the film deals with issues such as love, marriage, faith, prayer, and trust with just the right level of substance—not overly theological but not too thin either, which is the film’s strongest aspect.

Additionally, K.J. Appa, Britt Robertson and particularly Gary Sinise (who plays Jeremy’s father Tom Camp) put in some of the strongest performances of their careers. I felt Jeremy Camp’s pain in my seat, even knowing the end result. I empathized with Tom as he struggles to provide his son advice during his trials and struggles. Lastly, the music of Jeremy Camp (mostly his well-known pieces) are appropriately placed throughout the film.

Content of Possible Concern

VIOLENCE: In a brief fit of anger, Melissa smashes a jar of pickles on the ground and the glass breaks. She then proceeds to smash other pieces of glass on the ground. In another moment of anger, another character breaks a guitar, smashing it against objects until it finally breaks.

LANGUAGE: Someone says “Shut up.”

SEX: After they are engaged and later when married, Melissa and Jeremy share several kisses, a couple of them passionate. We also see them in bed together shortly after they are married (clothed). Jeremy and Melissa stay in the same house together, while they are engaged, as Jeremy is taking care of her (we do not see them share the same bed though).

OTHER: Jeremy sneaks past security to watch a concert from backstage. Melissa and Jeremy share a secret relationship to prevent their best friend Jean-Luc from finding out (apparently Jean-Luc had feelings for Melissa, but she didn’t have feelings for him). We see Melissa’s hair fall out from all the chemotherapy she’s been receiving. We see a character hemorrhaging over a sink (with blood).

Spiritual Themes/Lessons

“I Still Believe” successfully touches upon themes of love (marriage, God’s love for us in the midst of our pain, etc.), prayer, emotional and spiritual healing, and particularly the challenging theme of “trusting in God in the midst of suffering.” In an interview, one of the co-directors stated the following:

“…[the] film grapples with [the question of why God allows suffering.] …I think we forget so many times that there is a beauty, and a purpose, and a meaning in the difficult things we go through. And that sometimes God uses those things more than He uses the good things that happen to shape us, to mold us and to give us our voice… It’s a love story as God intended, between these two people and God, and between these two people and each other.”

As I write this, I can’t help but compare the themes found in “I Still Believe” to what is going on in the world right now (how timely the film’s release is). There are thousands of individuals around the world who have been affected by the SARS-CoV-19 virus. Some, unfortunately, have not been able to recover from the ghastly COVID-19 disease. It’s times like these that people have stopped and wondered, “Where is God in all the midst of this pain and suffering?” “In all of this hysteria, is He still here?”

Yes! God is still here in all of this. It is not that He doesn’t care. In fact, He DOES care. He cares SO much that it pains Him to watch us suffer, and He suffers because of the Sin that has been cast into the world.

For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. —Hebrews 2:18

“But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.” —Hebrews 2:9-10

Again, I can’t state this enough… God is STILL in control, in the midst of all of this.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah—41:10

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in the front of the new courtyard and said: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you… ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’” —2 Chronicles 20:5-6, 9

When we suffer, though, remember our prayers do NOT fall on deaf ears. Sometimes the answer is “No.” But He promises to always hear us, if we come to Him in earnes faith earnest.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” —1 Peter 3:12

“The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” —Psalm 34:15

Concluding Thoughts

“I Still Believe” is one of the most powerful films I’ve seen since “I Can Only Imagine.” It’s a film that NEEDS to be seen by many Christians, especially with what is going on in the world right now. The film is a solemn reminder that God is always near the downtrodden, the brokenhearted and the suffering. *MINOR SPOILER* Jeremy Camp’s story does have a happy ending. Many years later, Mr. Camp remarried and had three beautiful children but, to this day, always takes time to remember his first wife, Melissa. *END SPOILER*

In short, “I Still Believe” is beautifully shot, performed and delivered to the right audiences at the right time. I highly recommend it to all audiences. And lastly I leave you the words of Twila Paris, who said it best in her song, “God is in Control”…

“God is in control,
We believe that His children will not be forsaken.
God is in control,
We will choose to remember and never be shaken.
There is no power above or beside Him,
we know, God is in control.”

  • Violence: Mild
  • Sex: Mild
  • Profane language: Minor
  • Vulgar/Crude language: None
  • Nudity: None
  • Drugs/Alcohol: None
  • Occult: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

“One Good Thing God’s Doing Through the Coronavirus”
featuring Ray Comfort—Living Waters, a Christian Answers Team Member
length: 11 minutes

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Neutral
Neutral—I went to see this with my wife last night. While it had good moments, I didn’t like it as much as some of other recent Christian movies such as “War Room” and “Fireproof.” I’ve never actually seen the movie “I Can Only Imagine” but this movie had convincing acting, but not a super strong Christian message. It was obviously about a Christian singer and came across like it was written for a Christian audience. Faith is mentioned, but not really explained. Also, it seemed like Mr. Camp’s relationship with his wife seemed more prominent than his relationship with Christ just by the way this movie story was told. It does have an edifying ending, but overall I found it kind of slow. Glad it had a strong message of still believing in Jesus Christ through suffering, but overall I probably wouldn’t watch it over again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
P. Coleman, age 40 (USA)
Neutral—I saw this movie on a date night with my husband. It was encouraging to see so many people of faith coming to support the film in spite of the “social distancing” recommended by the CDC. I was excited to see Jeremy Camp’s story come to life in a film. I remember when he was touring churches: giving his testimony and playing songs from his first album. It was the same time, that I personally trusted Jesus as my Savior and Lord. His music was very encouraging at that time to not focus on my questions, but on the Lord and His Word.

I think this film was geared toward a faith-based audience, as I do not recall hearing how he came to believe in Jesus as Lord. It’s clear from the start of the movie that he is growing up in a warm Christian home, so does faith happen by osmosis? The Gospel is not clearly presented one time. They had many opportunities to do so because when Jeremy Camp would share his music at concerts he was intentional to share the Gospel. Why couldn’t they add that to one of the concert scenes?

The lead and non-lead actors selected in this film were amazing and seemed to have a lot of chemistry. The production felt very professional, but the story lacked momentum at some points. It was less distracting to have professional actors, but then it does make one wonder if they are professional actors playing a role or women/men of God?

It seems today Contemporary Christian music is more entertainment and less about encouraging the Saints. So, is that where Christian films are finding themselves? Upon further investigation, if you are interested to learn more there is a book and a Web site to give more information and about Jeremy’s faith in Jesus Christ.

It kind of makes it easy to sit next to a lukewarm Christian or nonbeliever in a theater. I liked the film, as there is little to choose from in the theater these days, but I would have preferred a bit more boldness.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
C. Coleman, age 40 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.