Heaven’s Rain
R
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Mike Vogel (She’s Out of My League), Taryn Manning (Hustle & Flow), Erin Chambers, Brooks Douglas. Written by Brooks Douglas and Paul Brown. Directed by Paul Brown. Opening in limited release.

FILM SYNOPSIS: In 1979, two criminals invaded the home of an Oklahoma Baptist minister, Richard Douglas, and his wife Marilyn Douglas. The parents were slain; the children, Leslie and Brooks, were also shot and left for dead after the burglars took turns raping the young girl. The true story is about the aftermath of the horrifying event, which led to a victims’ rights act in the 1990s and a spiritual healing that could only be called miraculous.

PREVIEW REVIEW: In the same manner as Amish Grace impacted this viewer, Heaven’s Rain reminds us that God commands us to forgive those who wrong us and goes on to show that only with God’s grace can such a deed be forgiven. Like Amish Grace, this low-budgeted film may have a few of the same production misdemeanors, but like that TV-made film, Heaven’s Rain is an important picture because it deals with spiritual truths and provides us with a second half that is riveting and emotionally stirring.

Perhaps motivated by the events of his early years, including that senseless crime, Brooks Douglas went on to grasp life, finding ways where he could display some control. He worked his way through college, served in the military, became a lawyer and prosecuting attorney, and went on to become an Oklahoma state senator for twelve years. Like a scene from MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, freshman senator Douglas stood his ground against a senatorial adversary to present a victims’ rights bill. And it passed.

At the end of his 12 years as a senator, Douglas moved from Oklahoma to California, his wife’s home state. He became interested in the movie business and when writer/director Paul Brown learned of this terrifying event and its spiritual aftermath, he suggested to Douglas that he should write the film script.

“I don’t think that I can.  It’s too close to me. Too painful.”
“That’s why you should write it.”

I teared up several times during this film, and at times was grieved by the reality that such injustice permeates our world. Though we mainly want entertainment to be diverting, occasionally a production such as Heaven’s Rain touches us, moves us, aids us. I was viewing something that had substance. It made me think – and feel.

Preview Reviewer:
Distributor:

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Brief depiction of the home invasion. The film is never exploitive in its handling of the brutal incident. The act is discreetly represented, grieving the viewer with the pictorial thought that people can be so demonic, but then focuses on the living victims as they cope with the memories of that fateful night. Blood: Some blood from dying victims
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse:
Other: None
Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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