actsofgodDon't Grieve Alone
Acts of God
Stars:  Esperanza Catubig, Constance Brenneman, Ryan King, Jordan DragonKing, Sharon Irving, Aaron Benward and Bob Russell
Director: Shane Sooter
Scriptwriters: Ninie Hammon and Shane Sooter
City On A Hill Productions 2014
Not Rated But Could Be PG 13 for scenes of violence
Running Length 110 minutes
*Note: for church study groups, a Small Group Study kit, “Acts of God Travel’s Journal’s” and “Pastor’s Kit” are available.
What to do with the unthinkable happens. You send your child to school and they never come home, either by bus or car accident or a school shooting. You go to a routine doctor’s appointment only to have devastating news, or you go on a vacation only to encounter monstrous weather conditions. The human body and mind can take just so much, and it is this limit that this film deals with. Pastor Bob Russell is part of the acting group in this movie, and also there to offer guidance. The problems encountered by every day people are a car accident, the person who caused the accident, the doctor who works in the emergency room, a person who received unwanted health news, and a former soldier with flashbacks. They could be your friends, relatives, neighbors or someone you pass on the street, but they all need help.
The film begins with three girlfriends meeting at the home of a friend (Tracy and played by Constance Brenneman) who has terminal brain cancer. She has a notorious sense of humor and tries to make light of her condition. It is raining and Sarah (Esperanza Catubig) leaves with her daughter, Becca (Lydia Boland). At the same time, a business meeting is concluding and the business president leaves in the rain, texting while intoxicated. There is a collision and the sheriff (played by Ryan King and who suffers from flashbacks of his military time in Afghanistan) is called to the scene, while the doctor (Jordan DragonKing) is called to the hospital. He also suffers flashbacks from his time during a hurricane in Central America and his marriage is in jeopardy. From this scenario, we see how grief (death of a child) affects the mother, who is grieving a previous death, the driver of the car and the doctor who couldn't save the injured child.  Also in the mix are the terminally ill patient and the spouses of those involved. Everyone needs help and it is up to the pastor to offer guidance and direction, though it isn't always wanted and he sometimes meets a brick wall. The well-meaning parishioners aren't always well-meaning and they cause problems, too.
I was interested in the woman suffering from cancer. Right away, in the beginning, she is shown with a bald head and trying on wigs. The audience dives right into her story and the ripple effect goes to people and families around her. Acting is well done, especially by Jordan DragonKing as the surgeon, Ryan King as the sheriff and Esperanza Catubig as the grieving mother.
The production values of this film are good, as is the music and acting. The question being asked in the film is, “If God is good, why does He allow pain in the world?“  If you are the one suffering from the emotional pain of a flashback or the physical pain of illness or injury, there is no easy answer. God is there, no matter what, and he does have a plan for you and others in your life. Each day can be a challenge with reminders of what happened. It takes courage from deep within to keep going.
The obvious thing to learn right away in “Acts of God“, is no texting and driving and no drinking and driving. What was absent here were teenagers. The families shown had smaller children, under the age of ten. Perhaps, City On A Hill productions is planning a future film concerning teen issues.
Copyright 2014 Marie Asner
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