Juana Franco Echeverría had never been to a movie theater in her life.
But when “Son of God,” the film about Jesus Christ’s life and ministry, was recently released in theaters, the 100-year-old decided to go where she had never gone before.
Joined by friends and family for the experience, Echeverría, who grew up in El Salvador but now lives in Los Angeles, was so moved by the film and experience that she broke down and wept.
The theater visit, which was documented by marketing firm the ARENAS Group to promote “Son of God” during holy week, was a radically new experience for Echeverría, who had no access to a theater when she was growing up.
“I’m happy that I’m going to watch the movie ‘Son of God,’” she said in a video documenting the experience. “I’ve never been to a movie theater.”
Echeverría said after that she “really liked” the movie and said she was brought to tears when she saw Jesus’ death depicted on the big screen.
“I couldn’t hold back my tears. And I still feel like crying,” she said, at one point dabbing her eyes. “Just to see all they did to him. When they were hitting him, when they put him on the cross and when he fell — it was hard to watch.”
While she was emotional, she quipped that she plans to go to the movies more often now, so long as she has someone to go with.
Watch her speak about the experience below:
“Son of God” filmmaker Roma Downey said she and her fellow producer and husband Mark Burnett were encouraged by Echeverría’s response to the film.
“What an extraordinary lady she is and what a gift for her to be able to see Jesus on the big screen. It’s truly a blessing,” Downey told TheBlaze. “As feedback continues to flow in we now know of countless lives changed as millions of people have embraced this beautiful movie.”