Brady (Andrew Cheney) lives the life of Joseph from the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. He grows up as the favorite of his father, he dreams of amazing things, and he’s pushed away from his family by the brothers who resent his presence. This time, he’s the son of a rancher, who becomes a land magnate, and restores his family’s ranch to where it belongs.
Echolight Films and Watermark Church have teamed to deliver a modern-day parable. Sure, it centers on the story of Joseph, and verse I John 4:19, “We love because he first loved us.” It comes with the preface by Watermark’s pastor, and ends with a reminder that “love is powerful,” “forgiveness is possible,” but it isn’t preachy, which is usually my stock complaint in productions like these.
Overall, I was impressed with the production values, the actual contemporary feel of the story, and the acting by the principle characters. That’s basically a trifecta! Too often, we get “updates” to Biblical stories that don’t actually re-imagine the stories at all, and then we slog through something that looks like it could’ve been done by a talentless, high school drama group. Seasons of Gray has aimed higher and has hit the mark.
When it comes to telling a Biblical story, there seem to be two focus points a production can choose: it’s either Old Testament judgment with a focus on sin and death, or a New Testament do-over that amounts to justifying all sorts of bad behavior. Seasons of Gray does neither, instead striking a chord between the real-life consequences of the situations surrounding Joseph’s internal family struggles and the “Potiphar’s wife dilemma,” while also building up to the moment when Brady is able to receive the good advice he gets about forgiveness, and apply it to his own situation. Too often, we’ve divorced the theological from the practical, but this film brings it back and puts it clearly in the center of our attention.
Kudos to Watermark and Echolight for their fine reinvention. Here’s hoping that Christians will give the film a spin and see how the story plays out in the hearts and minds of people seeing it for the first time. Check it out here.