Pearl Diver
PG
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +3

Cast: Joey Honsa, Amy Jean Johnson, Yevgeni Lazarev, Brian Boland. Written & directed by Sidney King. Opening in limited release beginning 10/27/06

FILM SYNOPSIS: Pearl Diver is the story of two sisters, how they are haunted by the twenty-year-old murder of their mother, and what happens when a farming accident rips away the layers of secrecy and buried trauma surrounding that night.

Marian is a young mother who lives in the Mennonite farming community where she grew up, while her younger sister, Hannah, left the community to pursue a writing career in Chicago. When Marian's six-year-old daughter, Rebecca, is badly injured in a farming accident, Hannah returns home to help. As the two sisters struggle with the circumstances surrounding Rebecca's accident and how to pay for her medical treatment, their opposing world views drive them towards a penultimate confrontation and reconciliation over their shared past, a past that simultaneously divides them yet binds them together. What they learn is that sometimes the secrets from the past can bring hope for the future.

Pearl Diver won BEST NARRATIVE FEATURE at the Winnipeg Intl Film Festival and at the East Lansing Film Festival, the CRYSTAL HEART AWARD at the Heartland Film Festival, the GRAND JURY PRIZE at the Indianapolis Intl Film Festival and BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY at Woods Hole Film Festival. It has also screened at the St. Louis Intl, Ashville, Bethel, Temecula Valley, Kansas Intl, Rhode Island, Gloria Intl and Stony Brook Film Festivals. It has been selected to screen at the upcoming Global Peace Film Festival, Malibu Celebration of Films and the Vermont Intl Film Festival.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Wow a film whose special effects are story, character development and themes (forgiveness and the priceless gift of love) rather than racing cars or mutilating monsters. Perhaps a bit too leisurely paced for todays targeted movie-going audience, which doesnt include many over the age of fifteen, but I think just about anybody with an interest in good storytelling will find this moving drama most satisfying.

In limited release, evidently because most theaters prefer to book films with saw in the title, this is one to keep an eye out for. I was very moved by the sacrifices portrayed and how this incisive film reminds us that no sacrifice ultimately goes unrewarded. Sadly, few moviegoers will hear of this small film. Thats their loss, as it is one of the best films of this year.

Now on DVD, it contains bonus features: Deleted scenes and thoughts from the director.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Proud Cut Films

Summary
Crude Language: None.
Obscene Language: one obscenity (the s-word) and two minor expletives (damn and hell)
Profanity: Two misuses of Christs name, by the worldlier sister. When surprised, she also utters oh my god, twice.
Violence: A man dies in quicksand. A little girl is badly injured in a farming accident. We do not see the accident, just a blood soaked kitchen where the father had rushed her in. Thieves kill a woman when she refuses to tell them where an expensive piece of jewelry can be found. This is seen through flashbacks. Though unnerving, because two little girls are involved and traumatized by their mothers murder, it is not meant to be exploitive, but rather incorporated to further the story, allowing us to understand the girls pain. Blood: We see blood from the dead woman.
Sexual Intercourse: None.
Nudity: None.
Homosexual Conduct: None.
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None.
Drug Abuse: The one sister has a drink in a bar with a friend.
Other: Presents Christians in a positive light.
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

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