I received an e-mail from a friend of mine the other day. I hadn’t heard from Mitch Teemley for awhile, although I do periodically check out his blog, The Power of Story. He offers stories with a message. Or, as he says, “A little wit. A little wisdom. That’s it. Not always funny, but more often than not (I was born with an indelible smirk)”.
Mitch also uses a similar format in his posts as I do in mine — themed during the week. He is a storyteller living in Cincinnati.
Professionally, he is a writer, filmmaker, public speaker and president of a production company called Moriah Media.
The meat of the e-mail, however, was the introduction of a feature film he wrote and directed. Healing River (formerly Over-the-Rhine) has just been released!
Healing River premiered on Amazon Prime in mid-May and is receiving rave reviews! Anyone can watch or order it (Prime members see it for free). Here’s the link to watch the Trailer, read the Reviews, and watch or order the movie: amazon.com/Healing-River-Christine-Jones/dp/B088K6PSGC/
Now, to the point of today’s post. I watched it … and I heartily recommend it. It certainly has a Christian (Catholic) message, but what I appreciated was the subtle — and sometimes not so subtle — way faith has been integrated into the film. This is NOT a holier than thou film. It is gritty and raw. It covers a panoply of emotions. It bridges from happiness to hopelessness to restoration and forgiveness. It connects two souls — three if you count the son who dies — through the intermediary of a Catholic priest/brother. Through faith, hurt, bitterness, anger, and justice are transformed into peace, amity, comfort, and healing.
The acting was was better than expected for a faith-based flick. Often, the plot is preachy and delivered by less than seasoned thespians. Not here. The core actors — Christine Jones (Ingrid Ambelin)Rupert Spraul (Alec McCortland) Michael Wilhelm (Father Peter) — deliver on time, every time, with passion and emotion. You could feel their characters come alive.
It’s a drama, a raw roller coaster ride that will be enjoyed by anyone who takes the time to watch — Christian or not.
Healing River is rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements, substance issues, some language, and brief violence. And, shucky darn, I think I picked up on an expletive or two as well.
THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: God gives us the ingredients for our daily bread, but He expects us to do the baking!