Sanctuary of the Cinema, 2016-2017

Course Syllabus

Instructor: Chad T. Johnston

Twitter: @Saint_Upid

All features begin at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary at First Baptist Church, Lawrence, Kansas. FBC is an American Baptist congregation, and is based at 1330 Kasold Dr. Film screenings followed by group discussion. Food and drink are permitted, and occasionally provided.

Sanctuary of the Cinema is a free film course that applies a Christian interpretive lens to a variety of films for the purposes of spiritual enrichment, cultural engagement, communal experience, and personal growth and development.

Note for Parents: CHILDCARE IS PROVIDED! Please take this opportunity to enjoy a fantastic film without any interruptions from your children—and free of charge, no less.


October 23th, 2016

The Armor of Light

2016, Documentary, Rated PG-13

88 min., English

Dir. Abigail Disney

This provocative, election-year appropriate documentary follows an Evangelical minister and the mother of a teenage shooting victim who ask, “Is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life?” A film about faith, firearms, and one minister’s journey.


November 13th, 2016

This is Martin Bonner

2013, Drama, Rated R

83 min., English

Dir. Chad Hartigan

An ex-convict believes that a 58-year-old divorced man is a kindred spirit who can help him get his life back on track. Justice Matters supporters, take note! This one is for you.


December 18th, 2016

The Drop Box

2015, Documentary, Unrated

79 min., English & Korean (With Subtitles)

Dir. Brian Ivie

The Drop Box tells the story of South Korean pastor Lee Jong-rak and his efforts to embrace and protect the most vulnerable members of society. It is an exploration of the physical, emotional, and financial toll associated with providing refuge for orphans that would otherwise be abandoned. The movie is also a reminder that every human life is sacred and worthy of love.


January 22nd, 2017

The Station Agent

2003, Comedy/Drama, Rated R

89 min., English

Dir. Tom McCarthy

When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.


February 19th, 2017

La Promesse

1996, Drama, Unrated

90 min., French (With Subtitles)

Dir. Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne

From the makers of The Son (Le Fils), one of the first films screened at Sanctuary of the Cinema, comes La Promesse. Roger uses his 15-year-old son Igor to help him ruthlessly traffic and exploit illegal aliens. When one of the aliens is accidentally killed, Igor cares for the dead man’s family against his father’s orders.


March 26th, 2017


1999, Drama, Rated R

101 min., Spanish (With Subtitles)

Dir. Benito Zambrano

Solas is a drama of Spanish women whose emotional life is as rich as their surroundings are poor. Maria is a beautiful but troubled woman adrift in a nameless city in southern Spain.  Pregnant and abandoned by her boyfriend, she is desperate for oblivion and angry at the entire world. Emotional rescue comes in the form of her own mother, who comes to stay with her daughter when Maria’s father needs surgery at the hospital in town. The mother cooks, crochets and befriends the gentlemanly neighbor downstairs while patiently trying to reach out to her daughter, whose bitterness is no match for her mother’s love and devotion.


April 23rd, 2017


1996, Drama, Unrated

97 min., French (With Subtitles)

Dir. Jacque Doillon

Live-action films about the very young are rare, and even more rare are such films that work as well as Ponette does, without cloying or pandering. The film stars 4-year old actress Victoire Thivisol as Ponette, who’s lost her mother in a car accident. Doillon captures what the faith of a child looks like in this woefully out-of-print film. A perfect Easter film.


May 21st, 2017

Waste Land

2011, Documentary, Unrated

99 min., English/Portuguese (With Subtitles)

Dir. Lucy Walker, Karen Harley

Located just outside Rio de Janeiro, Jardim Gramacho, Brazil, is the world’s largest garbage landfill. Modern artist Vik Muniz works with the so-called “catadores,” the men and women who pick through the refuse, to create art out of recycled materials. Muniz selects six of the garbage pickers to pose as subjects in a series of photographs mimicking famous paintings. In his desire to assist the catadores and change their lives, Muniz finds himself changed as well.