About the film:
Eighteen foster homes. Nine arrests. One life-changing moment.
After Brendan King's life spiraled to rock bottom, the teen found hope in a new relationship with Christ while serving time in a juvenile penitentiary. Recently released from prison, Brendan finds solace in the foster home of a couple struggling with suppressed grief.
As the city-bred teen enrolls at a suburban high school, he finds support from a group of believers. Yet the bonds of his old way of life- and the gang that wants to know where he hid their stash on a long-ago night- are strong. In his darkest moment, Brendan found faith. Now he must decide if it's worth the price to hold on to it.
Release date: October 22, 2013
Run Time: 108 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Suggested retail price: $14.99
Special Features: A 10-minute behind-the-scene feature, commentary, discussion guide, Bible study clips affiliated with the LIVE IT OUT Bible Study
Watch the trailer:
There's nothing like a good movie review to jazz up an evening with the family. I was looking forward to this one in particular, as the theme centers around foster care, and we are foster parents ourselves. Just to mention up front, this is a family movie, but not for the younger kids, as there is some mild violence, and mature themes , as they say.
This was anything but a lighthearted movie, but good and quite powerful. I'm always happy to see a faith based movie that can hold its own, and not come across as corny or stuffy.
The movie begins with scenes from the main character, Brendan's past. As is the case with several other story lines throughout the film, we don't see all of the past events. Some are suggested, through the dialogue, and some are viewed as flashbacks. I like that actually. I don't think a movie needs violence for the sake of violence, a good story can stand on its own.
We meet Brendan after his prison sentence, and after his conversion to Christ. He is a sympathetic character, his intentions are honorable, and he just wants to take a different road. He's close to aging out of the foster care system, when he 's taken in by his next foster parents, Mike and Vanessa. Mike is a solid and positive influence in Brendan's life, encouraging him in his faith walk, and willing to gamble on him. Vanessa, on the other hand, is very cautious, even wary, and you can feel her mistrust and reticence. Through certain inferences, we find out that Mike and Vanessa are still dealing with their own personal tragedy.
Then there's the family friend of Mike and Vanessa, who also happens to be a detective. He is definitely not thinking that taking in this kid with such a troubled past is worth the trouble. He makes it clear that he believes Brendan will fail.
The battle is uphill all the way, but Brendan keeps going. He is doing everything he can to break from his past, and finds love and support through fellow believers at his high school. But then his old "friends" find him and begin intimidating him, trying to pull him back into his old life. The question is whether Brendan will stand for Christ, or throw it away.
I don't want to give the whole story away, so you'll have to trust me and check out this DVD for yourself. It's a sobering depiction of what many kids in foster care face as they age out, with no one to offer a better way, a secure family, the hope of a good future. Mike and Vanessa present a great picture of the impact that we can have as parents, foster parents, teachers, whatever you are, on someone who is in desperate need. A great example of being the hands and feet of Christ to those in need.
As foster parents, it's always encouraging to find a movie, a book, a story that shares about this life. It's a world that most people know next to nothing about, and I don't say that to judge, it just is what it is. I know that for us, it opened up the door to a completely different way that people are hurting. The impact of a good foster family can have a huge and lasting impact on the life of the foster child, and possibly their biological family. We often see foster parents portrayed in a negative light for wrongs they commit against the child, or are accused of being in it for the money. I love to see them instead as real people seeking to offer a child/teen a place to hopefully thrive, heal, and succeed.
Those are my thoughts, check it out for yourself :)
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