Bishop T.D. Jakes' Woman, Thou Art Loosedbegan as a novel and then became a stage play. Now, Jakes himself has a role in the big screen adaptation of a story that reflects his investment in ministering to wounded women. The film, directed by Michael Schultz, opened in only 408 theatres, but drew a large enough audience to surprise the industry and place sixth in the box office top ten over the weekend, earning $2.3 million.

Kimberley Elise, who had a supporting role in the recent remake of The Manchurian Candidate, plays Michelle Jordan, a young woman who suffers from abuse, addiction, and poverty, and ends up in prison for taking retaliation into her own hands. Jakes plays himself, visiting her on death row.

LaTonya Taylor (Christianity Today Movies) says, "In many ways, the film raises the questions it hopes local churches will answer. Indeed, it's clearly designed to open discussion on these questions, and to provide materials to encourage churches to discuss sexual abuse (such resources will be posted on the movie website)."

To caution audiences, she adds, "Because of the graphic depiction of sexual abuse, this film is not for children or squeamish audiences. The presentation, too, requires an attentive audience due to the rapid flashbacks and flash-forwards. Yet … the film presents a challenging message: People are often at their lowest point of woundedness when unresolved pain spills over into poor choices and criminal behavior. And as a church, we need to take the time to listen to them, to learn their stories, and to point them toward grace and forgiveness."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says it's "a potent and soul-inspiring drama about the healing power of forgiveness. [It] deals with difficult subjects—including ...

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