Reviews > Culture

John Woo: Training up a director

Culture

Issue: "The Man Behind the Duck," July 26, 1997

How many times have churches, Sunday School classes, and families selected an overseas child to sponsor with monetary and educational support and then seen that young person become one of the hottest film directors on both sides of the the Pacific Ocean?

John Woo grew up on the streets and in the shacks of Hong Kong where he was exposed to crime, drugs, gangs, prostitutes, and murder. "I felt we were living in hell," he says. "I just wanted to fly away from hell. Fly away to another place."

World Vision and Compassion International provided the means for Mr. Woo to indeed find and fly to another place. He came to Christ through World Vision. Today he says that he is "eternally grateful" to the American family that supported him through their Lutheran church and allowed him to get an education.

We see you’ve been enjoying the content on our exclusive member website. Ready to get unlimited access to all of WORLD’s member content?
Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.
(Don’t worry. It only takes a sec—and you don’t have to give us payment information right now.)

Get your risk-free, 30-Day FREE Trial Membership right now.

At one point, Mr. Woo considered the ministry, but the missionary school (probably correctly) deemed him "too artistic to concentrate on being a clergyman." He went on to become the acknowledged master of Hong Kong action movies.

Anticipating the difficulties he would face when the communists took over Hong Kong, Mr. Woo and his family emigrated to America in 1992. His reputation as a moviemaker has continued to soar with his Hollywood hits Broken Arrow and Face/Off.

Many Christians have problems with the very genre of the violent action picture, but Mr. Woo insists that his movies bolster his own strong family values. His heroes are "always reaching out a helping hand," he points out, "even sometimes sacrific[ing] himself for the others." Though Mr. Woo's vocation lies in making movies that are primarily exciting, rather than theological, he demonstrates the value of saving pennies to send overseas.

Comments

You must be a WORLD member to post comments.

    Keep Reading

     

    Good credit

    Competency-based programs offer college credentials without the debilitating cost

     

    Soaring sounds

    Three recent albums highlight the aesthetic and emotional range…

     

    Numbers matter

    Understaffing the U.S. effort in Iraq from the beginning…

    Advertisement