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A young man, Harris Reynolds, is looking for meaning in his life, and comes under the influence of a seemingly well-intentioned minister, Pastor William. Reynolds soon learns the truth behind the underlying messages of homophobic hate from this deceptive preacher and becomes involved in a thrilling mystery. Written by
Corrective therapy is applied with religious conviction in BLISSESTRABE
In Paul Donovan's film, a group of young American Christian fundamentalists are on a mission in Berlin in an attempt to bring the Germans back to Jesus. Punitive therapy is pervasive with an obsessively devout Pastor Williams, played by a very smooth, capable and intensely effective Michael McManus, As he forces his young missionary pupils to repent for their sins and clear whatever demons may be consuming them, he especially warns against same sex sins of the carnal nature among other well rehearsed scriptures. Pastor Williams dishes out very solemnly words often redacted from the bible, to a group of American teenagers, in many comical futile attempts to convert the unwilling and unsuspecting many times resulting in verbal and physical confrontations. His small group of parishioners are adult teenagers forced by the legal system and/or their parents to endure the teachings of this self appointed servant of God. So many of these scenes are on display on a daily basis in todays society that one can't help to wonder if art is imitating life or vice versa.
Religious obsessions are found within the rhetoric of Pastor Williams as he hypocritically applies his corrective therapy with unorthodox methods designed to humiliate his unwilling missionaries. His actions lead to the eventual direct defiance from his pupil Harris (Alex Goodie) as many of Pastor Williams teaching backfire. The same demons he preaches against with very little help from alcohol consumes his yearning flesh and desires with the same moral convictions he routinely obsesses about. Blissestrabe is an outstanding film which unfolds with grace and beauty as the underbelly of the story's realities erupts to the surface with a vivid and fresh initiative from the filmmakers and brave performances from the cast.
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