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Higher Ground (2011)

R | | Drama | 26 August 2011 (USA)
2:03 | Trailer

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A chronicle of one woman's lifelong struggle with her faith.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethan Miller
McKenzie Turner ...
Kathleen Walker
CW Walker
Matthew Dubas ...
Taylor Schwencke ...
Young Wendy Walker
Jillian Lindig ...
Mrs. Tittle
Alden Rosakranse ...
James Noon ...
Kaitlyn Rae King ...
Teenage Wendy Walker


Vera Farmiga's directorial debut, HIGHER GROUND, depicts the landscape of a tight-knit spiritual community thrown off-kilter when one of their own begins to question her faith. Inspired by screenwriter Carolyn S. Briggs' memoir This Dark World, the film tells the story of a thoughtful woman's struggles with belief, love, and trust - in human relationships as well as in God. Written by Sony Pictures Classics

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some language and sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 August 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

This Dark World  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$21,495 (USA) (26 August 2011)


$841,206 (USA) (30 December 2011)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actor/Director Vera Farmiga directed this film while 5 months pregnant. See more »


Vera Farmiga has blue eyes. Taissa Farmiga, the younger sister of Vera who plays the younger version of her in the movie, has brown eyes. See more »


Featured in Maltin on Movies: Haywire (2012) See more »


Written by Spencer David Hutchings
Performed by Spencer David Hutchings
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User Reviews

Fabulous Capturing of Fundamentalist Christian Culture
31 December 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This amazingly intelligent and touching film, directed by Vera Farminga, her first, in which she also stars, was among the best I have seen this year. Farminga, known for Down to the Bone, Up in the Air, and a half dozen other fine films truly exhibits the range of her talents as an actress. The film portrays Christianity in particular, and religious faith in general at its best and its worst, depending on ones point of view. One thinks of the Tennyson quote: "there lives more faith in honest doubt than in half the creeds," I loved the scene of her outside the church building with the dogs, which took on an amazing symbolism in its context as she had just been warned by her Christian counselor that she would be cast out of heaven "to the dogs." The ending will surprise viewers. It is not predictable. The music is also powerful and authentic and carries the mood and spirit of the faith the film faithfully reflects.

I think some of the negative reviews come from Christians who are offended at how this film portrays faith but there is no doubt that the kind of faith the film reflects is very alive and well, even though Christianity has many expressions around the world. This kind of charismatic evangelical fundamentalism is quite common outside the mainstream churches.

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