PALAU: The Movie (AU-PG/UK-12/US-Not rated)

In a word: Low-key

PALAU the movie

Argentinian actor Gastón Pauls stars as Luis Palau in the biopic PALAU: The Movie.

Think of Argentinian-born evangelist Luis Palau and it's more than likely that the image which comes to mind is one of record-breaking crowds gathering in outdoor settings to hear him preach the Gospel.

That's not the focus of this biopic on Palau, however. Rather, PALAU: The Movie hones in particularly on the struggles that the Christian identity, who died in March this year at the age of 86, faced as he followed the the call of God to step into ministry and preach the Good News to the masses.

"A key part of the film's attraction is the deliberately low-key approach it takes to Palau's life - it's only at the end that we see where the call led him. Director Kevin Knoblock uses an unobtrusive hand in telling the tale, resulting in a compact film which allows Palau's story to speak for itself."

Shot on location in Argentina - and initially released in the US in 2019, the movie traces Palau's early life and, particularly in those early years, the influence his parents had on him - his father Luis, Sr, (played by Fabian Carrassco) who had experienced a radical conversion to Christianity and had gone onto to become an evangelical preacher and church planter before dying while Palau was still young, and his mother Matilde (Alexia Moyano) who we see play a key role in urging the young Palau to follow the call they believed God had put upon his life.

Early on Palau, who is played as an adult by well-known Argentinian actor Gastón Pauls, had a vision to preach to big crowds, like those attending Billy Graham rallies. But his beginnings were small, preaching on the streets to individuals he encountered, and then heading to the US for training before he went on to work as a missionary in Colombia and eventually saw his calling come to fruition. Along the way he met and married Pat (Alexandra Bard) and the couple started their family.

The movie details the key role Graham played in the development of Palau's own more than 50 year ministry, one which eventually saw him go on to speak in more than 80 nations, speak to millions in radio broadcasts and write almost 50 books (and which now has been continued by his son Andrew).

A key part of the film's attraction is the deliberately low-key approach it takes to Palau's life - it's only at the end that we see where the call led him. Director Kevin Knoblock uses an unobtrusive hand in telling the tale, resulting in a compact film which allows Palau's story to speak for itself.

For those who may know of Luis Palau's ministry but not necessarily the story of the man himself, PALAU: The Movie gives new insight into the life of man whose ministry has impacted millions, not just in Latin America but right across the globe. As was intended, it should serve as an encouragement to those wrestling with a call from God on their own lives (and not necessarily into a public ministry like Palau's).

PALAU: The Movie is available in Australia on digital platforms and on DVD. It is also available on recently launched streaming platform Wonder.