Title: Behind the Sun (2002; NR*)
Director: Robin B. Armstrong
Major Themes: Christianity, Faith, Inspirational Fiction, Persecution
Synopsis: When Samir, a Christian, visits his Muslim parents, he doesn’t intend to tell them of his change—but when circumstances force the truth out into the open, will he choose safety or following his Savior?
Years ago, when I visited some cousins, we spent one afternoon watching movies. Pamela’s Prayer was one they shared with me then, but the other one I remember is Behind the Sun. Later, on a trip back to visit, I ordered several copies of movies we didn’t have as a family, but knew we wanted, and considered getting this one. However, I decided against it in the end—but was thrilled to discover it in a thrift shop later on in the trip for only $.10! What a deal! So, I brought it home—and it’s sat on our shelves for the nearly three years since then, unwatched. But recently, when we were discussing movie options, that one came up and we decided to watch it—and what a worthwhile film it turned out to be!
Samir is finally home again, after several years away when he went to college in the US. Although his parents are thrilled to see him again, there’s one thing he can’t share with them—he’s a Christian now. If they ever find out, that could tear their whole family apart. Muslims never commit such sin. Meanwhile, a local Christian pastor has been imprisoned and is condemned with a death sentence. Samir is worried about him, and wonders if there is anything he can do to help, but help seems unlikely. Then, the worst happens: Samir’s sister discovers his Bible, and the truth comes out. Where can he go for safety when his family comes to try to kill him? What is his purpose in life? Is he willing to give up his girlfriend and education for the sake of the gospel reaching a few more people in his own country?
Although this movie is a short one, I’d guarantee it to strike a deep chord with you, as it did for us. It isn’t necessarily entertaining; the acting isn’t necessarily stellar, but the message of the movie is well worthwhile.
Jesus is worth giving our all.
Samir had the choice—girlfriend, freedom, and life, or serving Jesus, being hunted by his family and other Muslims, and possibly eventual death if he is caught. Ultimately, I think we all have to face this question to one extent or the other in life: Which is more important to us?
Personal safety? Or a life poured out for our Savior?
And though we may know what the right choice is, when it comes right down to the wire, it’s a hard one to take. But praise the Lord, He is always with us—and He gives us the strength to do what is right. And you know the amazing thing? When we follow His leading, we can find joys we never dreamed of before—depths we’ve never swum, and yes, sorrows we’ve never endured before—but His hand upholds us.
Behind the Sun is much more than just a story of one Muslim man who came to know Jesus and decided to serve Him no matter what. It’s a picture of what our brothers and sisters around the world in many Islamic countries face on a daily basis. It’s a picture of how the Lord can help, guide, and strengthen even when all hope seems lost. And it’s a picture of how God’s children around the globe each play a vital part in being faithful in the situation they are called to. I came away from this movie very encouraged. I hope you will do the same.
*This movie is unrated, but I would classify it as PG, because of the subject matter. I believe younger children would be fine watching it, but highly recommend a parent to preview it first and determine what age levels would be acceptable for their family.
WARNING: There is a brief chase scene from 32:02 – 34:20, where some men are after Samir, wanting to kill him. Otherwise, this movie is very clean, aside from a few tense spots.
Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults (see note above warnings)