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Movie Review

(Documentary)

 

A Heart Set Free:

Charles Wesley

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."  

DVD

 Color / 1 Hr. 41 Min. 

Stereo

DVD is playable in All Regions ___________ 

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Anglican / Methodist Hymnwriter

Charles Wesley broke many barriers of 1700’s England not only to become "the most gifted and indefatigable poet and hymnwriter that England has ever known," but also to give music, heart and soul to the Methodist movement that he and his brother John led.

The story of Charles Wesley is often overshadowed by that of his more famous older brother John. 

These founding fathers of Methodism traveled the same path, yet their lives and talents were often remarkably distinct.

"Hark, The Herald Angels Sing"

From a tenuous birth to blazing field preacher, this film explores the facets of the man known as "The Sweet Bard of Methodism." 

Discover the poet, husband, and hymnwriter who penned "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing," and "O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing." 

Follow Charles as a failed missionary to America,
then back home, depressed and dejected till he experiences a mighty conversion in May 1738 that kindled within him the passion to reach others with such intensity that, through his verse, we feel it today.

Shot on location in England and the United States, this feature-length documentary by T.N. Mohan, producer and director of the award-winning documentary Hanged on a Twisted Cross, brings detailed and well-researched perspective to Charles Wesley’s history through many never-before seen archival letters, manuscripts and other documents, besides interviews with leading experts from the UK and US.

Video Librarian, Sept./Oct. 2008:

Charles Wesley (1707-88) was born into a family of Church of England clergymen. 

While at Oxford, Charles and his brother John organized a group called the "Holy Club," known for its methodical habits of study and devotion, which earned them the sobriquet "methodists" -- a label that stuck. 

Charles was an ordained Church of England minister who followed his brother John on a missionary expedition to America, and after returning to England experienced a profound conversion, ultimately launching a unique ministry that preached salvation by faith alone to all who would listen -- including society's outcasts -- often in an outdoor setting where he attracted thousands. 

Incorporating music into the services, Charles begin writing hymns for instruction, eventually producing some 13 volumes of verse, set to music by various composers. 

Known as the "Sweet Bard of Methodism" and "Father of English Hymns," Charles Wesley's long and influential life is beautifully documented in T.N. Mohan's A Heart Set Free, which combines scholarly interviews together with works of art, ____________________________

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Image: Front cover of the DVD: "A Heart Set Free: The Life, Ministry, and Lyrics of Charles Wesley".

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archival manuscripts, and other primary sources to offer a fully-realized portrait of an important figure in religious history.

More detailed than Charles Wesley: Hymns of Praise (VL-7/04), this is highly recommended.

Church Libraries - Fall 2008:

This DVD could well be titled Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Charles Wesley

This is a thorough story encompassing the life of Wesley as a child, preacher, songwriter, husband, and father. 

The film explores the many facets of his life and his overpowering need for a true relationship with Christ that culminates in his conversion in 1738. 

The passion of that conversion is felt yet today in the many songs Wesley penned. 

Much of Wesley's music; comments from experts on Wesley and Methodism; and a variety of photos, illustrations, letters manuscripts, and other papers all come together to make this a compelling, feature-length documentary that would be a welcome addition to any church library. -CC _______________________________

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  Copyright © 2009 S.G.P. All rights reserved.  

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