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Higher Ground (2011)

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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:
Pastor Bill
McKenzie Turner ...
Kathleen Walker
Matthew Dubas ...
Taylor Schwencke ...
Young Wendy Walker
Jillian Lindig ...
Mrs. Tuttle
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

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

1 March 2012 (New Zealand)  »

Also Known As:

This Dark World  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$21,495, 28 August 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$841,206, 1 January 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film debut of Taissa Farmiga. Her sister Vera, who directed the film, cast her despite having no previous ambition to start acting. 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 »


Nearer My God to Thee
Written by Sarah F. Adams and Lowell Mason
Arranged by Alec Puro
Performed by Joshua Leonard and Jorgen Jorgensen
See more »

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User Reviews

Rare Gem in Addressing Faith
7 February 2011 | by See all my reviews

Actor/Director Vera Farmiga plays middle age mother Corrine in this drama of a Christian woman's spiritual journey spanning three decades. In a scene that foreshadows the rest of the film, when attempting to learn to play the accordion Corrine is told, "maybe you haven't found the right instrument yet." Throughout the film Corrine seeks to find her self through various religious expressions during the 'Jesus movement' era. When her yearning for intimacy and authenticity is not found in the Christian community, Corrine journeys to find a faith that is true to herself and resonates with what she knows as truth.

Higher Ground is a rare gem in the midst of Hollywood's often shallow and stereotypical portrayal of faith. Screenwriters and filmmakers would do well to look to Higher Ground (both literally and figuratively) when exploring issues of faith. Truthful in its portrayal, Higher Ground neither demonizes Christians nor paints an overly rosy picture of what a life of faith and struggles with doubt look like. It is a quality, honest portrayal, which invites personal reflection and communal dialog. The quality production will draw you in and musical score will take you back to religious experiences of your youth. It would be hard to not be moved by this film and walk out inspired to continue on one's own faith journey wherever that might lead.

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