The faith-based film Let God from Word Films comes to DVD on 2/25/14. Starring Jasmin Jandreau. Written & directed by William Parker.
FILM SYNOPSIS: A woman heads west with her husband during the 19th-century gold rush and is left alone in the harsh wilderness when her husband is killed in a savage attack. Much of the story is told in flashback.
PREVIEW REVIEW: Nonlinear and deliberately paced (confusing and slowwww), it’s a kind of character study meant to reveal a woman’s ultimate dependence on God to save her. Jasmin Jandreau does a credible job and the production values, especially the cinematography, are extraordinary. And credit must be given to the filmmakers for trying to incorporate spiritual matters within this woman-against-the-elements drama. Depending on your frame of mind, you may either be completely engaged by the production, or frustrated by the time spent on each shot.
The film reminded me of Meek’s Cutoff, which also recreated the pioneers’ struggle with the land and the elements. In this decade of fast editing and CGI trickery, Meek’s Cutoff director Kelly Reichardt goes against convention, using long, exploratory shots of the land to set the mood and give us a visual and visceral portrait of the pioneers’ trek. By using a deliberate, slow pace, Reichardt makes the terrain an actual character, revealing an unknown and often unforgiving land. In his film, we get to know the frontier as much as those who trod upon it.
At times this slow pace may be a trial for today’s filmgoer, but once you adjust to the lingering cinematography, you become a part of the journey. You’ll get to know these amazing people, a people who truly faced the unknown in order to come to a better place.
I can’t say anything about the end of Meek’s Cutoff, because it’s unexpected and needs to be experienced firsthand. Suffice it to say, it is unlike any film ending I can remember. The ending scene, like the film itself, is an allegory about faith, trust and endurance.
I think this was the destination Let God’s filmmakers intended to lead us, sadly with less success. It’s not a bad film. Indeed, many critics are praising it for its mood, structure and clandestine message concerning where to look for God. And certainly I’m for any filmed parable that reveals a character who, despite all odds, shows a reverence for God, and reveals her selfless nature. But if you’re going to see this film, rest up first. Did I mention, it’s sloooowww!
Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: Word Films
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Violence: The lone woman struggles against nature, which becomes somewhat intense; her husband is murdered, but the action takes place off screen; dead frozen people are briefly seen.
Running Time: 91 min. (seems like more)
Intended Audience: Mature viewers