Hillsong is the Christian megachurch that is sweeping the globe. With satellite churches in 19 countries, it averages a global attendance of 100,000 people every week. Its music has been so popular that it has three different bands (Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, and Young and Free). The Hillsong Worship team’s songs alone are sung by an estimated 50 million people in 60 languages! So where did they come from and who are the singers we listen to over our headphones? That’s what I thought the documentary Hillsong: Let Hope Rise would tell me.
Despite the title, I found that this film was not really about Hillsong, but about God working through Hillsong and their music. One of my favorite parts of the film is when we get to see footage of various people around the world singing one of their songs. It’s an amazing presentation that reminds us how far God’s love reaches. From the Alps to the cities, people are praising His name. The film does show us some personal aspects of the member’s lives, but it clearly isn’t the focus of the film. This makes for an unexpected, but refreshing, viewing experience.
Technically speaking, the film’s footage is absolutely incredible and well edited. Scenes from concerts are mixed with archive footage, behind-the-scenes tours, and individual interviews. One minute you are watching sweeping aerial views of their concerts, and the next you are taking a tour of one of the band member’s homes. This back-and-forth editing ensures that the viewer is never bored.
Although the film does show footage of their writing process and how seriously they take it, it is edited to appeal to a mainstream audience. However, if you are someone who loves to see in-depth information on how music is created, then the the DVD’s bonus features are for you! The DVD extras take you behind the scenes of one of their recording sessions in Los Angeles and to one of their writing sessions in Australia.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
Although there is nothing offensive in the film, I would recommend it for people age 15 and older. This is simply because, as a documentary style film, I don’t believe that it would be appealing to most younger children.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
This would be a great film to show at church, even if just clips were shown. The film is full of different examples of how God has worked unexpectedly in people’s lives. One section that would be great at church, although you wouldn’t expect it, is in the DVD bonus features under The Church Behind the Music. There is a section that shows a visual representation of the story of the world and how we play a part in that story. If you are doing a sermon on people’s spiritual gifts or how we are wonderfully made, this section would be ideal.