The Flying Man Pt 2 – “Eric Liddell: The Flying Man” – Mark Harris

(Read the original article published in the Nov/Dec edition of Mission Frontiers magazine)

First off, for a great full book on the story of the great Olympian and missionary to China, Eric Liddell, read “Eric Liddell: Pure Gold” by David McCasland.  Harris’ article starts with the popularized version of Eric Liddell, the movie “Chariots of Fire” and then announces the development and arrival of the sequel to “Chariots of Fire” called “The Flying Man.”  This sequel is a American/Chinese film collaboration made professionally as a tool to share the gospel through the story of Eric Liddell.  After announcing said movie, the article launches into the missional life Liddell lead, being born to missionaries serving in China and returning to China to serve himself after the 1924 Olympics.  It gives details on his time in China (that I will allow you to read yourself in the short article or in the full book.)

Two things from the article elaborated on what I already knew from the Pure Gold book.  1) “The Flying Man” movie 2) the reverence the Chinese people have today for this historic person that served their people.

“The Flying Man” release is being timed according to the dual hype of the ’08 Olympics of China and the 2012 Olympics in London.  Both geographic locations themselves Liddell spent significant time in, but even more so, the combination of the two is almost a representation of Liddells’ life (Again, born in China, childhood in England, returned to China.)  It seems like this is going to be more than just a cheesy Christian movie.  In another report, I heard they were bringing along big time actors, producers, sound guys and asking for professionals in the entertainment industry to collaborate on the project.  I look forward to the release of the movie, hopefully in 2010 or 2011.

The other intriguing part of the article (already knowing the story line) is Chinese people’s respect and adoration of this man.  Interesting pieces:

-Despite the project costing over a million dollars, the Chinese government paid to have Liddell’s house restored and preserved.
– On the site of the internment camp Liddell died at (Weihsien), the Chinese govenment placed a stone monument honoring him.
– TV networks in China have produced their own documentaries of Eric’s life and service to China.
– There is a Chinese station that replays the original “Chariots of Fire” over and over
– The Chinese government allowed a publishing of “Running the Race: Eric Liddell — Olympic Champion and Missionary” by John Keddie. For the government to allow an overtly Christian book is amazing.

So read the article, buy the book, pray for China and the legacy of Liddell to live on.

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4 Responses to “The Flying Man Pt 2 – “Eric Liddell: The Flying Man” – Mark Harris”

  1. Dorothy Uhlig Says:

    Has anything further come regarding this movie? Is it in the process of being made? It would be tremendous challenge to the church.

  2. Sharon Hampton Says:

    Still wondering if this movie was ever produced since it’s 2012 now and I’ve never heard anything more about it.

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