Sometimes you watch a movie, and the story hangs with you, like the scent of perfume or the lyrics of a song, for days afterward. This movie is like that.
I saw the new movie, Faith like Potatoes last week. It’s a great movie! It’s a little like Facing the Giants, where the main characters face difficulties and insurmountable odds, only to turn to God for help and trust in Him. But then again, Faith like Potatoes is nothing like Facing the Giants, because it’s not flashy, it’s not a rah-rah-sis-boom-bah story, and I don’t think I cried or laughed very hard watching Facing the Giants. With Faith like Potatoes– expect to have your hankies ready. But expect to have some hearty laughs, too.
Faith like Potatoes is the true story of Angus Bachan, a farmer from Zambia but who moves his young family to South Africa in 1978. It’s a HARD life. He’s starting from scratch, trying to clear his hard-scrabble land, raise his kids, and get out of debt all at the same time. He nearly has a nervous breakdown from worry, financial problems, and overwork. His wife drags him to church where he gave his life, his heart, his family, and his farm to Jesus Christ. And amazing things start to happen.
The real Angus Bachan is still alive, still living in South Africa. You can read his biography from his website. Probably the most compelling element to the film is that all this stuff REALLY happened (and is still happening).
After Angus dedicates his life to Christ, his farming takes on new meaning. Where he once was a nasty, angry man, he is kinder but still full of Scottish spunk. He and his Zulu foreman, Simeon Benghu, form a close brotherhood that is today, three decades strong, “My children are his children, and his children are my children.” The camaraderie Angus has with his workers and family are not all that is resolved. Their lives on the farm, while still very full of trials, is filled with hope and miracles. In one scene, Angus and the workers are burning brush along the edge of the farm, to make way for the planting of more crops. But the fire soon rages out of control, and sets off the neighboring property. Angus knows that he could be held liable and be sued by his neighbor for the fire, and hollers for everyone to start praying for rain. Simeon tells Angus that there is not a cloud in the sky, and there will not be for this is not the rainy season yet. Angus is insistent and prays. In an hour, dark clouds form and heavy rain crashes down. The fires are put out.
Events like that happen throughout the movie. Angus’ new life is not without tragedy– a fatal tractor accident devastates the family and they seek God for answers during that difficult time. I won’t spill the beans too much, but it was a very, very difficult scene to watch and it tore out the hearts of the actors to film it.
The film is SUPERB. The actors are incredible, especially Frank Rautenbach who plays Angus. He is amazing– full of energy and depth, and you just feel that you KNOW Angus and what’s going on inside his heart.
I found this trailer, and I think it’s one of the best out there that give you a feel for what the movie is like.
The DVD also came with a stunning documentary featuring Angus Bachan, his wife Jill, and the actors and film crew of Faith like Potatoes. We like the documentary as much as the film.
The film is kid-friendly, except for the part when a little boy is injured by a tractor. It’s pretty gory at that part– I’ve seen some gory war movies but this was absolutely heart-wrenching because it was a little boy. We had to skip it for the kids’ sakes.
Watch the movie. You won’t be the same.