His Only Son

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Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 11 (themes, violence, scary scenes). May lack interest under 16.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for His Only Son
  • a review of His Only Son completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 4 April 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes, violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 8-11 Parental guidance recommended due to themes, violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 12-15 Ok for this age group, though may lack interest.
Children aged 16 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: His Only Son
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes and violence
Length: 101 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

For 4,000 years, the faith of Abraham gave hope to millions. At the start of this story, God (voice of Daniel Da Silva) tells Abraham (Nicholas Mouawad) to take his only son to Moriah and give him up as a burnt offering. Horrified and devastated, Abraham makes preparations to do just that, all the while imploring God to have mercy and to take his life in place of his son. Abraham says nothing to his wife Sarah (Sara Seyed), to his faithful son Isaac (Edaan Moskowitz), or to the two men who accompany them on the dangerous three day journey past Hebron. As the film unfolds, viewers are shown flashbacks to earlier points in Abraham’s life. Abraham repeatedly demonstrated his absolute faith in God and his ability to follow God’s commandments, no matter how difficult or impossible they may appear. When encountering cruel soldiers on the road, Abraham and his company are initially left unharmed because, even to them, his name is legendary as he is known as the man who defeated numerous kings with an army of shepherds. His wife Sarah did not always share her husband’s faith. All she wanted was to give her husband a son and for countless years they tried; she becoming more hopeless with every passing year and Abraham resolutely clinging to the promise that God would give them a child. In time, their miraculous son Isaac is born. Isaac grows into an exceedingly kind, noble and courageous man. As Abraham comes to terms with the fact that he must sacrifice his only son and trust that God has a purpose in demanding this, Isaac continues to show care and compassion to all those they pass on the road, offering comfort to a dying father and offering his life in exchange for that of a kidnapped girl. While others begin to question Abraham and his motives, Isaac never does. In the end, Isaac offers up his life willingly in order to relieve the burden on his father’s shoulders and as a testimony to his own unshakeable faith. At the moment of truth, both father and son discover that what appears to be the end is really just the beginning.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Faith; Sacrifice; Infertility; Trust in God.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Guards menacingly approach Abraham and his companions as they set out on the road. They ransack their supplies and leave them scattered on the ground.
  • When asked how he could fight, Abraham said that the Kings had taken captives and that they went to free and save them.
  • Abraham is reminded that he rescued all those people, only to have them burn with their cities later.
  • Abraham has a nightmare where he sees himself standing over his son with a bloody knife, trying to sacrifice him on a rock.
  • Isaac discovers a man lying on the side of the road. He has been fatally stabbed and his daughter abducted.
  • A man is thrown out of a cave after being disrespectful of Abraham. The same man then shoves Abraham and goes to get a rock to hit him with. Abraham knocks him down with his staff.
  • Abraham is attacked by soldiers. He is stabbed and hit in the head with a rock. He watches, semi-conscious, as Isaac is also hit and looks to be stabbed.
  • Abraham and Isaac are left to die on the road but soon recover enough to continue making their journey.
  • Abraham has tied up Isaac and laid him on an altar. Together they have built a fire and Abraham is about to stab his son and set him alight when God stops him.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

  • Nothing further noted.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Images of Isaac repeatedly about to be killed by his father may be distressing and confusing for many young viewers.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Sarah reproaches Abraham for “going into her maid”, despite the fact that she suggested this in the first place.
  • Sarah refers to the fact that their bed has been “stained” by Abraham’s infidelity.
  • As Abraham and his company approach a roadside brothel, a heavily made-up man tries to entice them with a range of women, telling them they can have whatever they want and that these women will ‘satisfy their desires’.
  • Soldiers who have taken a young woman captive refer to her as ‘used goods’.
  • Abraham recounts how his wife was once placed in a harem of stolen women.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Abraham and Sarah’s maid are left alone for the purpose of conceiving a child. Abraham ‘lies with her’ and the maid is later shown with a very pregnant belly.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • The term 'bastardise' is used in reference to Abraham’s child with Sarah’s maid.

In a nutshell

His Only Son is a heartfelt Christian drama, chronicling a controversial moment in scripture. It is a poignant and somewhat slow-paced story, set against a simple backdrop that features powerfully compelling performances. The film is best suited to mature audiences as it may lack interest for many children.

The main messages from this movie are to trust in God above all else; and to know that He has a glorious plan and vision even if we are not able to see it.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Faith
  • Trust
  • Hope
  • Steadfastness
  • Courage
  • Kindness.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of having faith; of trusting in a higher power; and in the ultimate goodness of God.