In fact, the central theme of the movie is that there is no past wrongdoing that cannot be undone and forgiven. Magnolia did exactly what I wanted it to do. It started a discussion and a dialogue with the class, which is exactly what any good movie should do. We had a lively debate. Most of the people in the class could see the merits of why Magnolia could have such an impact on people searching for answers. Others were still doubtful about whether or not they could view such material.
I think there are three reasons why I recommend Magnolia and other films that are similar. I was interested in this film because I had read many articles about how it had impacted both Christians and nonbelievers. It made me wonder, “Is God at work here?”
When you read comments such as—it touched me greatly; this film heals; the film explores ways in which we hurt each other and the need for forgiveness—it’s obviously going to get our attention. Magnolia helps us to see a bigger picture. If God can be at work in a mainstream, Hollywood film, a place in which we do not think he could possibly be at work, then that means he could be at work in anything, anywhere. If we embrace this concept, that means God does not fit neatly into our perspective of how we think God operates. We serve a big God.
And, finally, Magnolia helps us to relate to the lost. We can better understand their situation and what they’re facing. After watching Magnolia, it’s hard to remain judgmental or to condemn people for their actions. We want to offer them hope and forgiveness. The real beauty of Magnolia is that it offers us an opportunity to dialogue with people who are asking legitimate questions.