Movies are made to entertain audiences—there is no argument about that. But if you believe that this is all that filmmakers need to consider, this book is not for you. It is written for readers who are curious to know if what is depicted in movies (especially about things relatively unknown to most people) is anywhere near the truth. Such readers can enjoy a film for its creativity, and still recognize that it is not completely accurate in its depictions.
This book highlights many movies that show angels or heaven, and discusses which aspects in these films are correct, based on the near-death experience (NDE) and after-death communication (ADC) literatures. Many movies, even well-crafted and entertaining ones, have incorrectly depicted angels, heaven, and associated topics. However, several films have portrayed some aspects of angels and heaven correctly, going beyond entertaining to try to enlighten people.
A complete annotated filmography is provided, with additional information on each movie discussed in the main text. A glossary defines unusual terminology. A brief annotated bibliography is included, to guide readers to interesting books on NDEs, ADCs, and related subjects.
Excerpt from section on Angels:
Moviemakers tend to portray good people (even after they die) as different from angels, based on archaic religious myths. But we know from near-death experiences and after-death communications that this is not the case. Any departed soul that has gone to the Light (another word for heaven or for God) is the same as an angel.
The excellent Highway to Heaven TV series (1984-1989) correctly shows Michael Landon’s character as having lived on earth before he became an angel. Several films, Angels in the Outfield (1951), Charley and the Angel (1973), and A Rumor of Angels (2001), also accurately depict that angels are simply people who have lived previously on earth and are now in heaven.
Excerpt from section on Guardian Angels:
People who had near-death experiences have related that they met their loved ones in the spirit world and were told that these angels were watching over and protecting them. Bereaved people who received after-death communications have asserted that loved ones in the spirit dimension communicated that they were looking after them and helping them through earth life. It is not a worker who has to “earn his wings.”
And yet, many classic films that show angels helping people, such as Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941) and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), err in showing them as servants or workers for God, assigned to help someone and unrelated to them except as part of their job. Similarly, Defending Your Life (1991) and Afterlife (1998), which depict way stations rather than heaven, show case workers assigned to help incoming souls.
It is commendable that The Human Comedy (1943), Miracle in the Rain (1956), and The Sea of Trees (2014), weave stories where departed loved ones are clearly watching over the bereaved. Also, three excellent movies, Cockeyed Miracle (1946), Somewhere in Time (1980), and What Dreams May Come (1998), correctly suggest that departed loved ones are guardian angels by having them come to fetch someone when they die.