Christian Retailing

Kirk Cameron’s ‘visual journal’ raises the ultimate question Print Email
Written by DeWayne Hamby   
Tuesday, 24 December 2013 08:30 AM America/New_York

Actor-director’s successful documentary was born out of the loss of his teenage friend

UnstoppableKirk Cameron (Growing Pains, Fireproof, Left Behind) tackles one of life’s most significant questions—why God allows suffering—in his new documentary, Unstoppable (602341006293, $17.99), arriving on DVD Jan. 28 from Provident Films. Described as a “visual journal,” the film blends Cameron’s narration with dramatic creative vignettes. 

“Why doesn’t God alleviate pain and suffering?” Cameron asks in the film’s opening moments. “I want to answer that question to the extent that I think we can based on what we know from experience and history and from God’s Word.”

The direction of the film was inspired by the death of Cameron’s 15-year-old friend Matthew, who participated in Camp Firefly, a camp for terminally ill kids started by Cameron and his wife, Chelsea Noble. 

“When he passed, I found myself asking the question, ‘Why, God, didn’t You heal Matthew when I know You can heal him? Where were You in the middle of this?’ ” Cameron said. “On my way to his funeral and burial, I took cameras with me and documented the whole process and then looked back in the Bible to find where God is since the fall and the garden of Eden, tower of Babel, crucifixion—where is God in the midst of all this terrible tragedy and what’s He doing?”

Dramatic elements are used in the film, including Cameron leading a discussion on the proper way to put the story of Noah on film. In the middle of the discussion of such a serious, heart-wrenching topic, the vignette provides some comic relief.

“The movie needed a little lightening up, so we wanted to put some humor in there,” he said. “It was the riskiest part of the whole movie.”

Cameron enlisted Liberty University as a production partner, and it also served as the location for the film’s simulcast premiere party through NCM Fathom Events. Billed as a “one-night only” live event, most theaters sold out of tickets, scheduled a second-night showing and the documentary bested movies such as Gravity and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 in per-screen averages. The film grossed $3.2 million on 700 screens. 

“We didn’t have any kind of a marketing and promotional budget to speak of, and we were only on one showing of each of those nights,” Cameron said. “It was the biggest one night in NCM Fathom Events’ history.”

To order Unstoppable, call 800-333-900 or visit