I’ve read several reviews about this film, and was surprised at some of the negative opinions expressed. I soon realized that not everyone was critiquing films like this one from the same point of view as I was taking. This shouldn’t have been so surprising considering how different we are from one another, but from a higher perspective I suppose I assumed the films “message” would certainly outweigh the film quality, story plot, acting abilities, or any other nuance you can recall about the film. The “message” would appear to be more valuable than all other movie traits combined. For instance, one reviewer commented that it was like “watching paint dry”, another voiced that the title wasn’t catchy enough, and still another noticed gaps in the storyline. These may all be plausible shortcomings of a fictional movie, but remember, Faith Like Potatoes is based on the true story of Angus Buchan. So it should be kept in mind that real life doesn’t always play out like a typical Hollywood script.
As an aside note: why give a quirky title like “Faith like Potatoes”? Well, potatoes you see need a lot of water to grow. But if the region in which you farm doesn’t receive that volume of water, then chances are your potato crop won’t flourish. Not only that, but unlike other crops, potatoes grow underground where you can’t see them. Angus and the other farmers were experiencing a drought which threatened to devastate their livelihood. Angus, along with his new found faith, declared he would plant potatoes despite the drought and still receive his harvest.
A quick synopsis: Angus Buchan is a struggling hot tempered Scottish farmer who attempts to make a living during tumultuous times in South Africa. Angus Buchan (Frank Rautenbach), his pregnant wife Jill (Jeanne Wilhelm), and his 3 children settle down on a dilapidated plot of land in South Africa to build a life away from the mounting violence where they had just come. Unfortunately, Angus possesses his own turbulent lifestyle with bursts of anger and fits of rage when things don’t go as smoothly as he plans. His life becomes consumed by his work and all the troubles that it seems to bring. At the prompting of his wife, he reluctantly attends a church service which awakens him to the spiritual void in his life and an awareness that his hard work is ultimately meant to serve God. This awakening then sets off an evangelical rollercoaster ride that ultimately and quite miraculously confirms and strengthens his walk of faith.
Christian movie reviews may be a little bias towards an ever growing wave of Christian films, but you can’t deny that this is a terrific movie that speaks volumes of a life lived in unwavering faith. The fact that it is based on a true story only amplifies the “message” of the intensity and struggle that a spirit lead individual endures during their walk of faith.
By Timothy Dall
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