The Purpose of The Metaphors in Faith Like Potatoes

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move.”

This is one of my favorite quotes from the Bible and of course, it should not be taken literally. The mustard seed is very small compared to the mustard tree it grows into. This implies that faith is living thing that grows within us and it empowers us to do the impossible. Also, it is not the quantity, but the quality of your faith that matters.


In the 2006 movie Faith Like Potatoes, which is based on a true story by Angus Buchan, as you can see from the title, faith is compared to potatoes. In principle, potatoes work in a very similar way as mustard seeds: you plant them in the dirt and wait for them to grow. However, with most crops you can see the fruit of your labor. Potatoes, on the other hand, grow underground and they remain unseen until it is time to harvest them. This makes potatoes the perfect metaphor for a life of faith in Jesus Christ – just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. Metaphors make this movie easy to comprehend by people of all ages and social categories.


Faith Like Potatoes follows the life of a white family’s struggle to make a living in South Africa. Due to low yields and escalating violence, the main character Angus Buchan leaves Zambia with his three children and a pregnant wife named Jill and buys a plot of land in South Africa where he starts all over again from scratch. There Angus does what he knows best and that’s work. He is a man that doesn’t believe in anything but the labor of his own hands, but that’s driving him to an early grave.

As his farm grows, so does Angus’s anger. He becomes unhappy and takes to drinking. He confides all his miseries to his wife, but she just can’t handle his mood swings.

In the end, despite all the hardship and just plain bad luck, Angus finds Jesus. He transforms from a desperate sinner into a compassionate believer.

It is important to note that this movie is not a fairy tale. Even though Angus changes overnight, his situation does not. However, God answers in some surprising ways, which makes this movie very realistic.

If you are looking for a good movie to watch, you will certainly enjoy this, though you won’t be overly impressed. But if you are looking for a story of God, this movie will have you weeping and rejoicing with the way faith is lived out in real life.