‘Father in Israel’ nears final showing before release


    By Rachel Scroggins

    ovies out of Hollywood are often filled with scenes not conducive to standards at BYU. Each year the LDS Film Festival shows films more acceptable to LDS audiences.

    The film “Father in Israel” premiered at the LDS Film Festival in January. The final showing of the movie in Utah before being released in theaters in the fall will be today at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi.

    “Father in Israel is a tribute to fatherhood and the fast-paced experience of a man”s journey through the simple and pivotal moments of life, filled with service, sacrifice and love,” according to the LDS Film Festival Web site.

    The 90-minute film tells the story of a father called to serve as bishop on the same day he is asked to lay off dozens of people at work and his daughter gets engaged. He quickly finds himself trying to balance the responsibilities of being a bishop, husband and father, including preparing his son for a mission and saving the jobs of his co-workers.

    “There is a wonderful spirit about it from beginning to end,” Joseph Fielding McConkie, professor emeritus of Ancient Scripture at BYU, said in a critique of the movie. “It captures the spirit of Mormonism and portrays life as a father in Israel in a manner that is very touching and real.”

    Christian Vuissa, director of “Father in Israel,” also directed LDS film “The Errand of Angels.”

    “I think there”s a huge void of such films about Mormon culture and heritage,” Vuissa said. “Even though there are members all over the world, our faith unites us much like a nationality. We need to reflect on what”s ”culturally precious” in our culture and try to preserve our unique identity. I think film is a powerful medium to do that.”

    Those already familiar with the culture are able to draw inspiration, motivation and meaning from the film through having experienced similar situations, Vuissa said.

    Tickets can be purchased for $5 in advance online, or at the door for $7.

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