From the wrong way to the way home

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In both faith and life, everyone must find his or her own way: an elaborate film by young people from Eastern Germany—which missed its premier, not once, but three times—tells of precisely this experience.

Emely has always been the darling of her small cosy congregation. People here have known each other for decades. The children grow up together, enjoy excursions together, and gather often for group celebrations. And so it is that everyone is delighted when Emely is confirmed—the whole congregation celebrates with her.

But what happens next is puzzling: Emely has not been at church or youth activities for weeks. Instead, people would see her running around with other young people. And who is her new friend Matt?

A total of 29 actors, a dozen filming locations, and seven different filming sessions make this 37-minute film quite special. Under the direction of Marco Irrgang, and with the collaboration of the congregations of Borna and Naunhof, the New Apostolic youth in and around Borna (Eastern Germany) have picked up on a scenario that will likely be familiar to many congregations.

Straight out of congregational life

The film “The narrow way” takes a closer look at a small New Apostolic congregation. Viewers are introduced to the choir, the ministers, the youth leader, the seniors, and a young sister with her family. Everything seems perfectly coordinated, not least of all the sequence of events in the family’s typical Sunday morning.

Suddenly the peace is disturbed when the young girl takes a different path of her own—much to the dismay of her mother, who is now likewise going through an inner conflict in the congregation. One thing leads to another, and mother and daughter soon clash aggressively. Fortunately Emely’s new friend Matt is there to catch the disappointed and searching young woman...

Recognition and self-help

After a few minutes, the realistic action allows viewers to put themselves into the characters’ own shoes, identify with them, and understand them. And what’s more, they are quick to recognise themselves and their own congregations on many levels.

In addition to the vulnerability of a young family and a number of potential conflict areas within the congregation—which are only revealed by Emely's decision—the film also sheds light on the cohesive fraternal strengths of a strong congregation and the potential of the rector. The short film thus offers help for self-help in similar cases.

Busts, bad luck, and breakdowns

The film was originally to be premiered at the International Youth Day 2019 in Düsseldorf. After a technical breakdown, however, parts of the film were without sound at its first showing. The second showing was cancelled due to a double booking. After a good deal of wrangling, a replacement showing was negotiated for the Saturday following the devotional. But after a few minutes of screening, the film was cut off shortly after midnight due to a general shutdown of the hall by the management of the Düsseldorf fairgrounds.

Now the film can be seen on YouTube. And it is worthwhile to watch—because the surprise ending leaves viewers with a lesson on trusting God and a whole new take on togetherness.

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