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Reconciliation

This drama, new on DVD, tactfully handles subjects of fatherhood and homosexual relationships.
Reconciliation
Our Rating
2½ Stars - Fair
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Genre
Directed By
Chad Ahrendt
Run Time
1 hour 41 minutes
Cast
Eric Nenninger, Jack Maxwell, Chelsey Crisp, Nayo Wallace
Theatre Release
October 01, 2009 by Clean Freak Productions/Bridgestone Multimedia Group

Though Reconciliation is not a great movie—its low-budget, slow-paced, melodramatic direct-to-DVD production is lacking in artistic excellence—the film nevertheless deserves praise for handling tricky, timely, and oftentimes taboo subject matter for the church.

Grant Taylor is a hard-working Christian, loving husband, and expectant father with a secret that he has kept buried for years out of shame. His wife Sara confronts him about it after receiving a phone call from a hospital looking for Grant "McDowell" with news that his father Jeff is dying of AIDS. It turns out that Grant changed his name when he was 18 to distance himself from his father, a homosexual.

Now Jeff wants to see his son one last time. Encouraged by Sara and convicted by his pastor's recent sermon, Grant reluctantly makes the road trip just days before his father's death and his son's birth. But Grant is still ashamed of Jeff's lifestyle, and worried that he'll become a bad father due to his own father's absence. This makes him unprepared for what to say to his father, or for that matter Jeff's partner Patrick, who initially treats Grant with skepticism and anger for neglecting his father's love for so long.

What follows primarily involves long conversations at the hospital with flashbacks to Grant and Jeff's past. Reconciliation lives up to its title, and I suppose it also gives away the ending (as if that were ever in question). But it's also a film that operates on multiple levels: a dramatic tearjerker on par with a Lifetime movie that demonstrates the tension between Christian culture and the homosexual community, and an example of how the church can more effectively minister to that community.

But it's a chore to slog through. The plot ...

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