Couric Worries in 'Divided' Nation 'Non-Believers May Feel Excluded' by Spiritual Films
The CBSNews.com online version of the story has this text in place of Couric's question: “But what if you don't believe? That was Chicago Mayor Richard Daly's concern last week when he banned ads for The Nativity Story from the city's annual Christmas festival.” A “Christmas” festival without the very story on which it is based!
A transcript of the last story on the December 4 CBS Evening News:
Katie Couric, after a clip of Charlton Heston in The Ten Commandments: “Back in the 1950s, no one needed Cecil B. DeMille to tell him the oldest stories make for great movies. Then Bible epics dried up for a few decades, but now they're back. Call it a revival. There's a new gospel according to Hollywood where the prophet speaketh. It was a Vatican first: Thousands of the faithful gathering, not for an audience with the Pope, but for a movie premiere: The Nativity Story about Mary and Joseph's journey to Bethlehem.”
Catherine Hardwicke, director of The Nativity Story: "This little girl, after she saw the movie, she said 'Mary speaks!' She always thought of her as a little statue, and not a human."
Couric: “Screenwriter Mike Rich says there was a time when getting the green light for the film would have been a miracle.”
Couric to Rich: “You said, that if I had come up with this concept five years ago it never would have gotten made. What's changed in your view?”
Rich: “Well, I think Passion of the Christ changed the landscape a little bit. The phenomenal success of that film, I think, it opened the door." .
Couric: “Mel Gibson's 2004 blockbuster, The Passion of the Christ, earned a staggering $1 billion in box office and DVD sales. Since then, Hollywood studios have been saying, 'lights, camera, Alleluia!'"
Stephen Feldstein, Fox Faith: "God's enjoying a renaissance in Hollywood.”
Couric: “Steven Feldstein is a Vice President with a new division of 20th Century Fox called 'Fox Faith.' But he admits it's less about belief and more about the bottom line.”
Feldstein: "It is a significant market. We as a studio, we're in the business of entertainment. It's not our job, or it's not our business to preach or proselytize."
Couric: “But 2,300 miles from Hollywood, at the Sherwood Baptist Church in southern Georgia, they have move the sermon to the big screen. Baptist minister Alex Kendrick directed and stars in Facing the Giants about a Christian high school football coach's struggles on and off the field.”
Coach in movie: “If we win, we praise him, and if we lose, we praise him.”
Couric: “It was made for $100,000 and has grossed almost $10 million.”
Alex Kendrick: “There's a large part of America that shares our faith and values and that longs to see something that they can take their kids to, that they believe in.”
Couric to Catherine Hardwicke, director of The Nativity Story and Mike Rich, the movie's screenwriter: “Do you worry at all that non-believers may feel excluded and diminished at a time when we're so divided about so much?”
Mike Rich: “I think you run that risk if you isolate yourself in your approach to either one faith or just the faith-based audience. And I think there is a place for these stories, stories about faith, inspirational stories, spirit of the heart. I think there's going to be a place for those for quite some time.”
Couric: “The Nativity Story grossed $8 million over the weekend, and its creators are hoping it resonates even more as the day it depicts approaches."