Woodlawn is set in 1970’s Birmingham, Alabama. Racial tensions are high and there is much unrest over the government-mandated desegregation of Woodlawn High School.
The film focuses on three primary characters. Tony Nathan (Caleb Castille) is a black student, who plays tailback for the Woodlawn Colonels. Tandy Gerelds (Nic Bishop) coaches the football team. And finally there’s Hank (Sean Astin), who was radically transformed at a Christian revival meeting and now has a passion for ministering to teams and students.
Coach Gerelds reluctantly agrees to let Hank speak to the team and much to his surprise nearly the entire team, both black and white students, give their lives to Christ. This sets in motion a move of love, unity, and reconciliation that greatly impacts both their school and city.
We watched the film with our children ages 10-17 and found it to be a great discussion starter about the racial tensions of the 60’s and 70’s and Christ’s power to overcome every obstacle and transform every situation, no matter how difficult it might seem.
The film is rated PG for thematic elements, including racism and violence. With that in mind, I wouldn’t have any difficulty recommending it for kids age 9 and up.
Overall, I was extremely impressed with the quality of the film and deeply touched by its message. It definitely rates 5 stars! Be sure to head out and support it this weekend.
Find a theater near you at woodlawnmovie.com/theaters.