According to a Friend of a Friend, who just happens to be a big-shot Hollywood producer, “Son of Man,” which I blogged about here yesterday, is not the only movie dealing with issues of spirituality and redemption at this year’s Sundance Festival. In fact, he told me yesterday he is fascinated that the majority of films he has screened this week have wrestled with issues of faith in one way or another–a trend that he hasn’t seen in years past. So I thought I would pass along this Friend of a Friend of Mine’s (seriously, if I told you who he was, you’d be impressed) recommendations of the best of Sundance, which may be coming to an art-house theater near you in the coming months.
“Forgiven”: In a modern day Greek tragedy about our country’s racial and social divide, writer/director/star Paul Fitzgerald plays Peter Miles, a district attorney running for state senator. On the eve of his campaign launch, the governor pardons Ronald Bradley, a man who Peter had put on death row. When pressed by the media, Peter chooses to stick to his story that Ronald is guilty of the cop killing. However, Ronald–suddenly a free man–knows that Peter has for six years possessed information proving Ronald’s innocence and chose to ignore it. Ronald decides that it’s time for a confrontation with Peter, which ends with surprising consequences.
“Stephanie Daley”: Amber Tamblyn (“Joan of Arcadia”) plays a high school student who denies knowing that she was pregnant and that she killed the child after giving birth in a ski resort bathroom. Tilda Swinton (“Chronicles of Narnia”) is the psychologist hired by the prosecutor to evaluate the girl and find the truth, but in the process the doctor must face her own hidden pain over a loss of her own. In the process, both women confront pain, guilt, and grief.
And if my Friend of a Friend’s recommendations aren’t good enough, check out the Journal of Religion and Film’s glowing reviews of several other faith-based movies at Sundance, including “Adam’s Apples,” about a middle-aged neo-Nazi who has been assigned community service at a country church, and “Jewboy,” a story about the son of a Hasidic rabbi and his spiritual journey in the wake of his father’s death.