My family love to watch movies! And while I am not a fan of television (I go out of my way to not watch the screen) because of how much my boys love to watch stuff, I need to be on the look out for things that are “good food” for them. Trust Fund, from Mapelle Films is one of those. We received the DVD, widescreen, for this film along with the book, Love Was Near.
Want to hear something really neat about this film? One of the main reasons I was up for this review, is because Issac Alongi, producer and cinematographer, was a homeschooler back in the 80’s. Read his story in this article on Midwest Parent Educators. This was a time when homeschooling was not even legal in most of the country. That said, I always love to watch, and share with my family, the great things that many of these grown up home learners, are able to achieve today! What a great way to inspire our kids right? 😛
Remember the story of the Prodigal in the Bible? (Read Luke 15 if you need to review the story) Well, this is a modern take on that tale. If we aren’t sure exactly what that looks like today, this movie definitely helps us to see. Instead of a son though, this is the story of the Prodigal daughter. Reese is an aspiring, young writer. Her older sister, works for the family business, responsible, faithful. Not at all like her carefree, dreamy eyed sister. Reese has a dream of her own to pursue. After learning a rather deep secret, she takes off and in Italy chases after love, seeking for her dreams to come true. Her older sister Audrey, as the story goes, is aghast at her father for allowing Reese such freedom; for his allowance of her adventures. And when Reese comes back heartbroken, lost and full of regrets, we see that anger and hostility in her older sister (just as the Bible story goes). Through it all we see the father, showing love and forgiveness, to his prodigal daughter, welcoming her home and celebrating her return.
For some there was an extra blessing in that we received the book, Love Was Near, along with this DVD. Written by Sandra Martin, this is meant to be read after the movie has been seen and is recommended for girls ages 12 and up, as a way to help them understand the deeper meaning of this story. There is also a study guide that they put together, perfect for small groups. This is about twelve pages long and includes lots of reference to scripture; there are numerous references to clips from within the movie and then deep thoughts. What Do You Think? Compassion, condemnation, restoration and celebration. There is just so much that we can learn from the story of the Prodigal Son and you see this in action, within the film, then read Reese’s mindset within the pages of the book.
We watched this with my boys, mostly because my 11 year old son recently became inspired to make movies (Stopmotion Animation style) and I thought he would appreciate seeing a movie made by someone who started doing this very thing, at his age. The film is rated PG and received the Dove Seal for ages 12+. Since the only time I am really willing and eager to watch a movie, is when I feel they are educational or inspirational, I was really very hopeful for this one. Also, since my oldest son often tugs at my heart strings (prodigal to be perhaps?) I was very hopeful that this would relay a strong Biblical message. While the storyline was easy to follow, there were many object lessons here for my children to learn from. I do believe that this was a good movie, however because it can be confusing with so many other conflicts within the storyline (immodesty, not being married but living together, overall childish behavior in some scenes) it is important to watch this with your children, whatever their age may be, as there are e things that perhaps we can use for discussion points on what exactly we ought to see in those who are living for Christ.
While it may be a bit hard to relate to Reese’s plight in this story certainly if we all look back we had a time in our life where we were unsure of who we were or what we were truly meant for. Although this is more dramatic, less realistic of a situation perhaps, if we focus on the overall lesson within this story, of love and forgiveness, it can be a worthy viewing for a family with older children. Certainly this can be a great launchpad for some gal discussion about life and gratitude and relationships. Consider taking some time to watch the trailer here. It’s a great way to encourage our own kids to see what home learning can be in their future and also to support what seems to be an amazing husband and wife team of movie and story telling. 🙂