Faith, Media & Culture

Here’s today’s dispatch from the crossroads of faith, media and culture.

GMC World Premiere Movie: SOMEBODY’S CHILD
Premiere:  Saturday, August 25 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EST and August 26 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EST
A divine twist of fate causes Constance Rivers (Lynn Whitfield) and her son Douglas (Michael Jai White) to open their hearts to ex-convict, Benjamin Sparks (Byron Minns).  While on the brink of losing her battle with kidney failure, Constance’s near death confession instantly collides her past with her present.  Douglas and Benjamin learn they are fraternal twin brothers who were separated at birth 37 years ago.  Somebody’s Child is a story about a son losing hope, a mother gaining faith, and God’s divine and perfect plan.

Review: Asked why he wanted to do the film, Michael Jai White said “The script attracted me. One wonderful thing about is that it’s about a family and it’s not necessarily a black family. I feel it’s a very universal story.”

He’s certainly right there — and his portrayal of an entrepreneurial restaurant owner who is a boy on his own while hoping and praying to find a kidney for his seriously-ill mother rings true. You like this guy and you like his family. You also like his restaurant employees — particularly his newest hire, Benjamin, an ex-con who served his time for vehicular manslaughter.

The film is actually reminiscent of many of the made-for-TV films CBS used to show on Sunday nights, you know after Touched by an Angel. In other words, the kind of hopeful film the broadcast networks, to their detriment, rarely touch anymore.

The script is by Sideeqah Powell and, despite not actually winning GMC’s Faith and Family Screenplay Contest (it did receive an honorable mention), it impressed GMC Vice Chairman Brad Siegel enough that it was ordered into production. As Siegel puts it “Somebody’s Child is exactly the type of story we like to share with our viewers.  The characters exemplify the best of the human spirit as they face life with boundless generosity and love.”

Powell tells a story that is both sweet and believable — two descriptions that are not mutually exclusive.  As for Powell’s future, she makes no secret of her desire to become the first African-American woman to win an Oscar for Best Screenplay.  I hope her dream comes true. In the meantime, an Emmy shouldn’t be considered out of the question.

Somebody’s Child is Highly Recommended.

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Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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