Students explore topic of passion versus practicality in documentary
A documentary centered on the theme of love and marriage in the Christian context, titled “Passion and Practicality,” premiered in Calvary Chapel on Monday, May 14 at 8:15 p.m. Rebecca Fuller, a junior Humanities major, and Taylor Witcher-Page, a first-semester senior and a Psychology major, produced the documentary for their semester Torrey project; they edited the footage and interviews with the help of some Biola film students.
For Witcher-Page, the idea for the project began last semester when some close friends were each getting married and challenging her ideas about marriage. She wanted to evaluate what love and marriage really are, and said that she disliked a lot of the perspectives that she encountered.
Students seek to ask thought-provoking questions on love
The spark for the idea came from certain novels that Fuller and Witcher-Page read in their Torrey curriculum this semester. Novels such as “Jane Eyre,” “Pride and Prejudice,” “Wuthering Heights” and “Anna Karenina” exposed a sharp contrast between prudent and passionate marriages; both women wanted to investigate these observations. They saw how deeply the idea applies to college life as well as literature.
“Love happens in so many different ways. I just want to know what to look for. What does it look like to be in love?” Witcher-Page said. Both Fuller and Witcher-Page were seeking to have a better philosophy of love as a result of this documentary.
Their goal for the documentary was not necessarily to provide answers but thought-provoking questions that students, faculty and members of the community can ponder.
“We are very busy people, and to have the time to sit and think about something is a rare, rare luxury. Hopefully this will give people the space to think about it,” Fuller said.
Fuller and Witcher-Page asked people in all stages of relationships a variety of questions based upon the literature, as well as general questions about concepts such as love. They also sought to evaluate the tension between passion and practicality, following the documentary’s theme.
Documentary relevant to Biola students
Biola students are drastically affected by the themes and questions addressed in the documentary, according to Fuller and Witcher-Page. Although students joke about the “ring by spring” mantra, the women have noticed a distinct pressure among students.
“There’s the idea that you’re never going to live on a concentrated piece of land with this many Christians in your life [outside of college],” Fuller said.
Witcher-Page agreed, adding her observation that those conflicted between passion and practicality don’t always make time to think clearly.
The project deeply made an impact on their faith and their notions of love.
“It’s incredible when your homework coincides with your life,” Fuller said.
Both Fuller and Witcher-Page felt their ideas about the nature of love expand as a result of creating the documentary.
A reminder to seek God's will
“A lot of people think of God’s love first when they think of love. They’re reminded more of God’s love instead of what our culture thinks of love,” Witcher-Page said.
She is grateful for this reminder to seek God’s will and align one’s life with it. Similarly, Fuller said that the documentary truly showed her the value of the centrality of Christ in relationships and the role of self-knowledge in a healthy relationship.
Some who were involved in the documentary were also affected by its thought-provoking questions. Nicole Boyle, office manager and assistant to the director for the Torrey Honors Institute, and her husband Colin Boyle expressed that their college years were transformative years during which God showed each of them how to glorify God through singleness. They also advised students to seek members of their church body as models for successful Christian relationships.
“There’s a lot to be gained by knowing yourself well before getting married,” Nicole Boyle said in an interview. “If the documentary just gets people asking these questions, it is a success.”