'Have a Little Faith' a heartwarming, interfaith story

 |  NCR Today

This is the first in a trilogy of blog posts by Sr. Rose Pacatte looking at some of this year's new holiday television movies.

Have a Little Faith
Sunday, Nov. 27
ABC, 9 p.m./8 p.m. CST

"Have a Little Faith" is this year's Hallmark Hall of Fame's made-for-TV holiday movie. It's based on the 2009 best-selling book by Mitch Albom and in many ways is similar to "Tuesdays with Morrie" -- a book (1997) and film (1999) that made me cry a river.

"Have a Little Faith" is about Mitch's relationship with the rabbi of his youth, Rabbi Lewis (Martin Landau), who asked Mitch (Bradley Whitford) to write and then give his eulogy when the time came. As a journalist, Mitch agreed, but only after he conducted several interviews with Rabbi Lewis. These led Albom to notice stories about faith in Detroit, where he worked. He met Henry Convington (Laurence Fishburn), a former drug addict and ex-con in Detroit who became a reverend and ministers to the people of a poor inner-city church, working to make the lives of his people better.

In "Have a Little Faith," we find interfaith dialogue, friendship, humanity, heart and humor. The question "Can people really change?" and the rabbi's answer are worth the entire show.

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Albom's books-into-movies about the people who have influenced him say a lot about the man himself. He shares his mentors, friendships and acquaintances old and new with us through print, sight and sound. He shows us how to be attentive to the people in our lives and how we can be mentors and friends to those around us, regardless of race, gender, age, creed or culture.

Albom's best-selling second book, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven," came out in 2003, followed by the TV movie in 2004, the highest-rated and most critically acclaimed made-for-television movie that year.

He published "For One More Day" in 2006, and it was made into "Oprah Winfry presents: Mitch Albom's One More Day" in 2007.

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July 14-27, 2017