The author of the story behind the new movie, The Mountain Between Us says his goal with it, as with all of his stories, is to lead the audience to Jesus. He says his approach is subtle, however, not "agenda driven," which he says is the case with many "Christian Fiction" tales.
The movie is about a photojournalist, played by Kate Winslet (Titanic) and a neurosurgeon, played by Idris Elba (Pacific Rim) who survive a plane crash, only to find themselves injured and stranded in perilous weather on a mountain. They must rely on each other to survive. In the process, they bless one another in a number of instances.
The movie is based on the book by New York Times bestselling author Charles Martin, who wrote Where the River Ends and 11 other books. A devout Christian, Martin told The Gospel Herald his favorite writer is King David, who wrote many of the Psalms. "He speaks what my heart needs to hear when I'm hurting, or in a place of uncertainty," Martin said, "David poured out his soul, everything from repentance to praising the Lord. His work is the honest wonderings of a man in struggling."
Martin said he got the idea for The Mountain Between Us after getting stuck briefly in a blizzard while hiking, then later flying over a mountain range in a small plane. And he said it reflects his own love for his wife.
He said he considers it an appealing story because, like most of his writings, it revolves around sinful people who repent. "For me, it's being a character that is flawed and broken with whom you can empathize and appreciate their brokenness," he said, "Then, you watch them authentically and honestly walk out of brokenness. That is redemptive, and that is a good story."
Martin said his stories are not overtly Christian in nature, but says he hopes they will help lead his audience to Christ nonetheless. "C.S. Lewis said one of the things he hoped for his stories is that they would become road signs to Jerusalem," Martin said, "He calls them 'signposts.' That's exactly how I feel. My stories point people to Jesus, and hopefully, He will then reveal Himself to them."
Martin says he is a man under the authority of God and believes his stories "reflect the character of God," quoting Jesus from Matthew, where He said, "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks."
Worldly success is appealing to Martin, he admitted, but he believes helping people is more important. "I want to express love and write stories that lift up God's nature and character. Obviously, I'd love to be on the Times list again," he confessed, "But if broken people can find something hopeful in my stories, then I'm satisfied."