A Christian movie that includes swearing in the script is bound to be uncomfortable with the faithful, but it’s not exactly won over by non-believers either.
“Generational Sins” drops F-bombs as it dabbles in realistic storytelling instead of the more sanitized confessional films Christians are used to.
The 90-minute drama tells the story of two brothers who must come to terms with their difficult past which includes an abusive and alcoholic father. This is made even more difficult by the rocky relationship the two brothers share and the anger that older brother Drew still carries with him. In the end, Drew finds himself with no place to turn but to God.
Director Spencer T. Folmar makes no apologies for writing swear words in his film; for him, it is an indispensable dose of realism in the Christian film genre.
“Life is tough, messy, gritty, full of disappointments, broken relationships and sin. Why shouldn’t the films we make accurately reflect the lives we lead? he told the New York Post.
But ultimately, the film’s “tough faith” advantage couldn’t keep it from being panned by critics.
Even the Christian movie reviews website Movie Guide called it “bleak”, while of course criticizing the obscenities dropped throughout the film.
“The worldview is Christian and redemptive, but there is a wealth of foul language that warrants great caution for adults,” he said.
The bottom line? A “bleak but sometimes touching religious drama”.
The Los Angeles Times praised Folmar for “avoiding the sugary tone that plagues so many other films about faith”, but ultimately came to similar conclusions, saying the film lacked pace and used too many slow motions to detract.
And to them at least, with all the swearing, the film still lacked authenticity – a criticism often leveled at Christian films.
“Unlike many religious movies, ‘Generational Sins’ isn’t afraid to show its characters sinning – even if those transgressions are simply PG-13 swearing with the occasional shouting at the sky,” says the critic.
“This drama from writer/director Spencer T. Folmar tackles issues of faith in a way that’s not entirely godly, and it’s more reflective of human experience than many of its pure-hearted brethren. However, it undermines that authenticity by lacking in strong character motivations and details that would make this redemption story more true.
Hollywood journalist concluded that the combination of worn clichés and profane language could even be detrimental to the film’s success as it is likely to disenfranchise both Christian and non-Christian markets.
He writes, “Notable only for Daniel MacPherson’s strong performance in the central role, the film should appeal to neither secular nor religious fare seekers.”
If these reviews left Folmar intimidated, he can be glad that audiences seem to feel better about his film than professional critics. At present, its audience score on rotten tomatoes is an impressive 99%.