Infidel stars Jim Caviezel (The Passion, Person of Interest) and is inspired by true events. It’s based loosely on a number of different cases of Americans kidnapped and/or arrested and imprisoned in Iran, including former FBI agent Robert Levinson in 2007. The movie is dedicated to “those Americans still being held in Iranian prisons.”
Caviezel specifically addresses Christian persecution in his new role. In the movie, he plays the character of Doug Rawlins, an outspoken Christian blogger who goes to Cairo, Egypt, after a friend invites him to speak with a Muslim talk-show host on live TV. Somehow the conversation turns to the Abrahamic religions. The Islamic faith views Jesus as a prophet and good teacher. “We love Jesus, too,” the host tells Mr. Rawlins.
However, Jesus is much more than a prophet or teacher. Jesus explicitly declared that He is God. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Also, when Jesus says that he is “the first and the last” (Revelation 1:11), he is applying to Himself a title of the Almighty God.
Anyway, you can probably guess what’s going to happen next… Mr. Rawlins feels compelled to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the midst of the interview. Call him brave or foolish, he is doing God’s will: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). But needless to say, it doesn’t go over very well with the Muslim audience!
As a result, Mr. Rawlins is abducted and his wife (Claudia Karvan), who works for the US State Department, tries to get the US government to help bring her husband back. But the Americans will not get involved. So she goes to search for him by herself, putting herself in danger as an American woman traveling alone in the Middle East. Just like her husband, Mrs. Rawlins’ actions beg the question, is she brave or foolish? Either way, she certainly demonstrates unselfish love for her husband, as she is willing to risk her own life to save him.
If you like movies such as Taken, you will enjoy Infidel. This movie has a very strong Christian worldview, but it’s definitely not your typical squeaky clean Christian film; it’s an action thriller about a Christian hero who’s willing to die for his beliefs. Given the violent nature of the story, this movie is best for older teens and adults, not children. In fact, it’s rated R for violence and language.
Infidel depicts a man who is threatened, tortured, and imprisoned in the Middle East, then put on trial and falsely charged with being a spy. There is a brief scene in which a young woman is tied up with her mouth taped. You will see characters being beaten, punched, kicked, stabbed, shot, blown up and killed. The language was much stronger than I expected with lots of profanity, mostly from an Australian character. There are references to Muslim culture including belly dancing, a quick walk through a hookah bar, and an honor killing (not shown but talked about). Also, there is a flashback to a car crash involving a pregnant woman.
The whole movie is very suspenseful and you never know who to trust – or who will live and who will die – until the very end. It will give you a firsthand look at Islamic extremism, as the main bad guy is a Hezbollah militant named Ramzi (played by Hal Ozsan, who makes a great villain!). Mr. Rawlins gets taken from Cairo to Lebanon and then moved to Iran. Two members of the Israeli Mossad come to the rescue, along with Muslims who oppose the Iranian regime, and a small group of underground Christians. (This leads to an awkward moment for Mrs. Rawlins, because while Mr. Rawlins is a devout Christian, his wife has fallen away from the faith, although her character is never fully fleshed out.)
Overall, the Infidel movie is an eye-opener for anyone unfamiliar with conditions in other countries where religious freedom is not tolerated at the level of what is enjoyed in the US. In fact, Infidel was secretly filmed on location in Jordan with heavy security for fear of objections from the Iranian government. The cast includes international actors and actresses, which adds to its authenticity.
Infidel was written and directed by Iranian-American filmmaker Cyrus Nowrasteh, best known for his 2009 film The Stoning of Soraya M., which also dealt with abuses and corruption by the Iranian regime. Conservative Christian filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza and his wife, Debbie, are the executive producers of Infidel. D’Souza Media has produced several political documentaries, his most recent being “Trump Card.”
Jim Caviezel’s Lessons from Ronald Reagan
Jim Caviezel spoke with “Fox & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth about his role in Infidel. Caviezel sees Infidel as kind of a metaphor for the growing intolerance for differing viewpoints in the US, as manifested by the cancel culture. One message Caviezel hopes Christians who see the film will take away is the need to be bold about their faith. Another topic that Caviezel wanted to touch on during his interview was the “Time for Choosing” speech that Ronald Reagan gave in 1964.
For any Christian or American patriot who loves liberty, Ronald Reagan’s “A Time for Choosing” Speech needs to be studied and committed to memory. It was a speech presented during the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign by future President Ronald Reagan on behalf of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. This speech launched Reagan into national prominence. It’s the famous speech where he said:
I have spent most of my life as a Democrat. I recently have seen fit to follow another course. I believe that the issues confronting us cross party lines…. You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we’ll sentence them to take the last step into a thousand years of darkness.
Hegseth asked Caviezel, “What can Americans learn from Ronald Reagan, what are your thoughts on that at this moment in time?” Caviezel’s impassioned speech draws heavily from Reagan’s own words to rebuke Christian fence-sitters as follows:
Let’s set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace – and you can have it in the next second – surrender.
Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning [Christian] liberal friends [and our priests, bishops, and pastors] refuse to face–that their policy of accommodation is appeasement and it gives us no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat eventually we will have to face the final demand, the final ultimatum and what then?
When Satan has told the people of this world he knows what our answer is going to be? He has told us that we are retreating under the pressure of his cold war, and some day when the time is right to deliver his final ultimatum our surrender will be voluntary; because you see by then we will have been so weakened from within spiritually, morally, economically. He believes this because from our side he’s heard voices pleading for peace at any price, or ‘better Red than dead,’ or as one commentator put it he would rather ‘live on his knees than die on his feet’ and therein lies the road to war because those voices do not speak for the rest of us.
You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin – just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the Pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have refused to fire the shot heard around the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our beloved dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis did not die in vain. Where then lies the road to peace? Well, it’s a simple answer after all.
You and I have the courage to tell our enemies, ‘There is a price we will not pay.’ There is a point beyond which evil must not advance. In the words of Reagan, ‘evil is powerless if the good are unafraid.’