|City of Ember, DVDBy 20th Century Fox
Jeanne Duprau’s best-selling novel comes to life in this heart-thumping adventure for your whole family. When an underground city’s generator fails, the glittering street lamps fade—along with the residents’ dreams. Following clues from ancient Builders, can two teens find a way out of Ember before darkness falls forever? Starring Tim Robbins, Bill Murray, and Saoirse Ronan. Rated PG. Approx. 95 minutes.
We recently watched the movie City of Ember as a family. Although some of the younger ones were a little scared because of the tense adventure moments, we were pleased with the overall content. There was no sexual content, no immodesty, no bad language, no real violence and no irreverent references to God.
Because the movie is set in a manufactured city totally sustained by a generator that is failing, the lights glow with a man-made yellow light that turns into complete darkness when the generator runs low. These dark and yellow lights lend a bit of a scary tone for younger viewers. There are also a few tense moments as pipes burst, corruption is revealed and over-sized moles come looking for food.
What I loved about this movie is how it can easily be used to talk to your kids about the things of God. The citizens of Ember are going to die. The generator is failing and when it does, their lives will end. This is easily likened to our lives without Christ. If we remain citizens of this spiritually dark world (literally dark in the City of Ember) we will die.
The Builders of Ember have left instructions for the citizens explaining how to get out of the dark world and into the light. They’ve made it simple, yet hidden. Just like our Creator has left instructions for us to find the Light. He’s made it so simple, yet the Bible tells us that it will confuse the wise.
In the beginning of the movie you see a young girl drawing a picture with a crayon. She draws a house, a tree and is about to color the sky. She chooses the color blue, even though within her world of Ember the sky is black. As the story goes on you see how people have wondered about real light, the color of the sky and that some have even believed so deeply in “the world out there” that they have sacrificed much to find it. Even this points to a Scriptural reference in which we are told that God has hidden eternity in our hearts.
Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart.
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT
Each one of us at one time or another wonders if we were created for something more. We all ask God-sized questions. We inquire about our purpose and our longings. In the City of Ember there are a few people who kept searching no matter the obstacle. They pressed on, even when others around them attempted to shut them down or make the search impossible.
That reminded me of these verses:
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
And if you search for him with all your heart and soul, you will find him.
Deuteronomy 4:29b NLT
If you haven’t seen the movie, I would recommend it for your family with children over the age of eight. If you have seen it but missed the scriptural parallels I’d recommend another viewing. Plan to ask some thought-provoking questions of your kids when you are done.
Then ask yourself some hard questions: Are you searching for God with all your heart? As if your life depends on it? The truth is that your life does depend on it.