New Life DVD: How Do You Respond to Suffering?

Ben Morton (Jonathan Patrick Moore) thought he knew what life would look like forever. He was destined to marry Ava (Erin Bethea) ever since they were seven years old. Their life together wasn't perfect but it was theirs. And then their marriage took on the greatest test they could have ever imagined: Ava is diagnosed with cancer.

In the Broad Green Pictures film that Bethea co-wrote and produced, she and her fellow actors are moved through a drama that shares a true-to-life story about love and marriage. Funny, powerful, and incredibly moving, the film demands we ask what we know about relationships and our own levels of trust, ultimately asking, how do we respond to each other, and God, when life doesn’t work out the way that we want it to?

As I wrote before, I hesitate to give more of the plot away because the curves that the story’s path took hit me hard. New Life doesn’t fall inside my normal film genres, but the way that Waters and Bethea formed the narrative structure works to highlight elements of our lives that I’ve seen personally and as a pastor to others. It's asking questions about the problem of evil, not caused by people but by original sin, and about how we respond to our own experience of suffering.

This is a romantic drama but it's not lighthearted and fluffy. Still, thanks to the New Life DVD release, the audience can explore what Bethea and writing/directing partner Drew Waters had in mind through the audio commentary, as well as delve behind the scenes and into deleted scenes provided. In the end, it will encourage your faith - and challenge you to live, love, and trust more than ever before.