New Chariots of Fire film coming

Sun 28 Jun 2015
By Aaron James

A new film chronicling the life of Christian and Olympic gold medal winner Eric Liddell has been announced.

Christian actor Joseph Fiennes will play the star, who famously refused to run the 100m dash in the 1924 Paris Olympics because it was on a Sunday, or Sabbath.

Eric Liddell then raced in the 400m event, winning gold and breaking the Olympic record.

It's rumoured an American trainer slipped him a piece of paper before the race with the Bible verse 1 Samuel 2:30 on, part of which says: "Those who honor me I will honor."

The athlete was born in China to Christian parents and went to be a missionary in the country after the Olympics.

Japan invaded China in 1937 and imprisoned Eric Liddell in 1943, where he died of a brain tumour in 1945, aged 45.

His decisions to honour God in both sport and mission, as well as his athletic prowess, have made him a hero among many Christians, and led to a film being made about him - Chariots of Fire - in 1986.

The Last Race will mostly chronicle Eric Liddell's time in China, with Hong Kong film company AliBaba Pictures Group backing the film. A Chinese scriptwriter, Joseph Shin, is also teaming up with director Michael Parker to make the film.

China only allows a certain number of foreign films to showcase in the country each year, however the backing of companies in its own country could mean The Last Race is one of the select few which gets shown.

This will be particularly significant, given that China only permits Christianity within the context of government-sanctioned churches, and the fact authorities have partly or wholly destroyed hundreds of churches and crosses and imprisoned at least dozens of Christians in the country over the last few years.

The Last Race will be released next year.

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