The Heart of Man (AU - M/US - PG-13)

In a word: Redemptive

The Heart of Man poster

 

"It’s a bold film, dealing with an issue that has often in the past been simply swept under the rug as too hard to talk about, but is here confronted head-on. Yet, while the subject matter means that it no doubt will make some uncomfortable, it is also gentle in its presentation, with director Eric Esau allowing the stories - and the drama - to speak for themselves."

Sexual dysfunctionality is a big issue in society today – and no less so in the church. The Heart of Man directly confronts that issue against the backdrop of the Biblical story of the Prodigal Son.

A docu-drama combination, it features some real life American men and women – among them William Paul Young, author of The Shack, and spoken word artist Jackie Hill Perry – telling their story of their personal journeys from sexual brokenness and addiction to freedom in Christ, interspersed with a dramatic, wordless retelling of the parable which Jesus told in the Gospels. The film also features insights from some church figures as well as Dr Dan Allender, professor of counseling psychology at The Seattle School and an expert in sexual abuse recovery.

It’s a bold film, dealing with an issue that has often in the past been simply swept under the rug as too hard to talk about, but is here confronted head-on. Yet, while the subject matter means that it no doubt will make some uncomfortable, it is also gentle in its presentation, with director Eric Esau allowing the stories - and the silent drama - to speak for themselves. While there's obviously a strong Christian message of redemption being delivered here, it's not overpowering and the film as a result should attract a wider audience.

Jason Torrence leads the cast as the prodigal son himself while Robert Fleet plays his father and Serena Karnagy, the "siren" whom the prodigal son lusts after. Their silence conveys a strong sense of the universality - the fundamental nature - of the story here being told and is supported by a haunting musical score led by violins which has been described as a "character in its own right".

Sadly, it's only being released at cinemas in Australia for two nights this week - 26th and 27th June - but it will no doubt become a small screen staple for church groups (there's a range of resources for churches and small groups to engage with).

Visually rich, it's well worth seeing on the big screen if you have the opportunity to do so. The Heart of Man is all about find hope in the darkest of places.

~ www.heartofmanmovie.com.au