Australian Council on Children and the Media

Overcomer

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Not recommended under 8 and parental guidance to 10 due to themes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Overcomer
  • a review of Overcomer completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 August 2019.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not Recommended.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended.
Children over the age of 10 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.

Name of movie: Overcomer
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length 119 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The population of a small town suddenly drops when its large factory closes and most of the workers are relocated. Subsequently, high school basketball coach John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) loses his team and is forced to consider coaching cross-country running instead. His one runner, Hannah (Aryn Wright-Thompson) has always believed that her father was dead. However, after a chance encounter at the hospital, John discovers his new friend Thomas Hill (Cameron Arnett) is actually Hannah’s father. As John and his wife Amy (Shari Rigby) grapple with what to do with this information, Hannah struggles with her identity, loneliness and a deep desire to keep running despite all the obstacles she faces. When Hannah and Thomas finally meet it is not the reunion either expected but when Hannah chooses to embrace Jesus it has a profound effect on her life and, like her father, on her ability to forgive, let go and overcome.

Themesinfo

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.

Family breakdown, chronic illness, religious relationships, the journey of forgiveness and self-discovery.

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:

  • After Hannah steals headphones from a boy at the park she is chased through the woods, her assailants shouting that she is dead if she doesn’t give them back. Hannah hides behind a tree suffering an asthma attack and they eventually give up looking for her.
  • John throws some bricks at the ground in a fit of anger.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The scenes detailed in the following age group may also scare or disturb this age group.

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:

  • Hannah goes to visit her dad in the hospital and finds that his bed is empty. She looks scared when she is told that he is in the ICU (intensive care unit) and there she finds him hooked up to a lot of machinery.
  • Hannah sometimes struggles to breathe when she runs and as she pushes herself in the State Championship her vision becomes blurry and she collapses at the finish line. Spectators look shocked and distraught as she is carried off the course. Hannah regains consciousness and is fine after getting some oxygen but the few intense moments may distress 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.

  • Some children between the ages of eight to thirteen may be scared or disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

It is unlikely that children over the age of thirteen would be distressed by any scenes in this movie.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • A sign for Jay Austin Motors was displayed in John’s son’s room; aside from that no product placement was noted.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Thomas tells John and Hannah about how he was into drugs when he was younger, how he got Hannah’s mum into drugs and how it cost her life.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

Overcomer is a faith-based, sports, drama that shares the testimony of redemption. The plot is fairly predictable and the stereotypes are a bit unfortunate (struggling black family / perfect white one) but the story itself is uplifting and lends itself well to a variety of audiences.

The main messages from this movie are that even one runner matters, that your identity is tied to whatever you give your heart to and that if you find your identity in the ‘One’ that created you, it will change your whole outlook on life.

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

  • Forgiveness
  • Humility
  • Compassion
  • Perseverance
  • Faith or reliance on God

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • Stealing
  • Drug use
  • Holding grudges
  • Lying to those you love even when you have their best interests at heart.

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