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The Family is Irreplaceable {documentary review}

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had the chance to see the pre-screening of Irreplaceable, a feature-length documentary produced by Focus on the Family.  I was very excited to see this movie because I’m a longtime fan and supporter of Focus on the Family.  Growing up, I listened to their radio dramas and received their kids’ magazines, and as an adult I’ve appreciated their marriage and parenting resources.

Documentary Examines Family Life

Irreplaceable, the Focus on the Family documentary coming May 7, 2014Irreplaceable is “one man’s journey to understand our need to belong, to be loved and to be part of something bigger than ourselves.”

Host Tim Sisarich asks “what is family?” and “what is wrong with the family?” and sets out on a journey around the world to talk to ordinary people and experts.

This documentary isn’t intended to answer those questions—it starts that discussion and Focus on the Family has an exciting new project, The Family Project, coming out in May 2014 which will help families answer those questions.

My Thoughts on Irreplaceable

I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary.  I was fighting tears while watching it more times than I could count.  Tim asks some tough questions and receives some important answers.  He also shares honestly about his own family and talks to other people who share the pain of their families.

Irreplaceable brings a much-needed message into today’s world, when many people don’t understand sexuality, marriage, or parenthood.

Sisarich went straight back to early philosophers and their ideas about the family.  I was surprised that this attack on the family is nothing new; Plato believed children should be raised by the state rather than by parents (I think we’ve seen enough examples of that to know he was wrong).  Even the French philosopher Rousseau didn’t believe in the family.  Yet the documentary noted that if we care about the nation and the state, we must put the family first, because family is the building block of the nation.  If the family is healthy, then the nation will be healthy.

Sisarich also takes a look at some of the things which have undermined the family: cheap sex, cohabitation, consumerism, lack of good parental models, feminism.  I liked the expert who discussed the feminist movement and why it has actually been detrimental to women.  She pointed out that yes, women deal with hormones and pregnancy and other things that men don’t have to deal with, but instead of saying “Respect my differences,” feminists said “We’ll get rid of all evidence of differences.”  Basically today women are trying to be men, but being equal to men doesn’t mean we are the same as men (a pet peeve of mine).

“It is better to be a redeemed family than to be a perfect family.” ~ Irreplaceable

While Focus on the Family is a Christian organization, and this documentary is filmed with a Christian worldview, I believe Irreplaceable should also appeal to a non-Christian audience.  Most of the movie speaks simply of the family and the importance of a stable home in which to raise children.  Many of the experts consulted are people at secular universities.

In the last few minutes of the documentary, Sisarich does speak briefly of the importance of faith in families.  Even if you are not from a faith background, I would encourage you to see the movie and to consider how vital the unit of the family is in today’s society.

Check out the trailer or order Irreplaceable from the Focus on the Family website. If you’re interested in this documentary, you may also enjoy reading The Secret to Happy Families by Bruce Feiler.

Focus on the Family Canada

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