Take two: Another Tell the World review

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To say that Adventist media has had watershed moments is not an understatement. From the first print publications from our earliest years, right up to modern satellite television, radio and internet platforms, ours has been a message and mission driven by the overarching power of the gospel.

So it was with great interest that I received a copy of the much vaunted Tell the World movie recently. It tells the story of the Millerite movement, its intellectual striving regarding the pivotal 2300 day for a year prophecy and the eventual build up of expectation around Christ’s predicted return on October 22, 1844.

I didn’t find one element of the whole production that was at all sinister—it was at every turn uplifting and edifying in its approach.

Tell the World lays out, in great detail, the colourful characters and events that forged not only a movement, but also the seeds of a Church driven to declare the gospel to the whole world.

The Great Disappointment was a pivotal moment for the early Advent movement and saw the eventual development and founding of the Seventh-day Adventist Church through people like William Miller, Joshua V Himes, Ellen Harmon, Joseph Bates, James White and J N Andrews.

I have to say the greatest plus for this movie is the fact that it really does look and feel like a high-end production. This sort of production value is great to see in Adventist media!

Tell the World captured not only the 19th century feel of the period, it also portrayed the reality of the key protagonists’ struggles and challenges without giving it the feel of an agenda-driven propaganda film.

One key negative, in my opinion, was the fact that some of the performances from key actors did at some points feel somewhat forced.

However, I also got the impression that all involved in this production were very much committed to its success, and strove to be authoritative and accurate to the historical record as much as humanly possible.

It should be remembered these early Adventists faced great derision from the community, after their Millerite predictions didn’t come true. It was under the weight of such burdens and a return to Bible study and prayer that a new moment was realised.

The music production value in the film was also highly complimentary to the overall storytelling and gave it a compelling ambience.

Further, I did some background research and did find a fringe element criticise the production’s choice of production partners, intimating that somehow there was a sinister element to this.

I didn’t find one element of the whole production that was at all sinister—it was at every turn uplifting and edifying in its approach.

All in all I highly recommend Tell the World. I have it on good authority that early batches of the DVD sold out quickly. This says something about not only the power of the Adventist story, but also our ability to put together productions that have credibility.

Overall I would say 4 stars!


Tim Humphries writes from Brisbane, Queensland. This review was originally published at medium.com/@timhumphries.