6.7/10
543
9 user 18 critic

Healing (2014)

R | | Drama | May 2015 (USA)
Inspired by true events, HEALING is a story of redemption, the discovery of hope and the healing of the spirit - in the most unlikely place for the most unlikely men.

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2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Matt Perry
...
Viktor Khadem
...
Mark Leonard Winter ...
Shane Harrison
...
Warren
Jane Menelaus ...
Glenys
...
Egan
...
Stacey
...
Yousef
...
Michelle
...
Vander
...
Travis
...
Ted (as Richard Stables)
Harry Tseng ...
Dave
Paul Bonet ...
Anderson
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Storyline

Viktor Kahdem is a man who has almost given up on life, sentenced to a low-security prison farm, a completely non-threatening environment where it is still felt that some individuals can be reformed. At Won Wron, Case Worker Matt Perry has established a unique program to rehabilitate broken men through giving them the responsibility for the rehabilitation of injured raptors - beautiful, fearsome proud eagles, falcons and owls. Against all odds, Matt takes on Viktor as his number one test case, introducing him to Yasmine, the majestic wedge tailed eagle with a 2 metre wingspan. If these two can tame each other, anything is possible. Written by Craig Monahan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

May 2015 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When Viktor is travelling into the city on the train, the internal shots show he is on a diesel powered V/Line train. However, as his train pulls into Southern Cross station, the external shots of the train show he is now on an electric "Metro" train. The internal shots continue to show him on a V/Line train, then the final external shot shows him stepping off the electric train and (even though in real life, it is plausible to switch between the two trains on that line). at no point in the story is there an explanation or logical reason to why he may have switched trains. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Birdman of Won Wron Correctional Centre.
29 March 2015 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Right from the very first scene I knew this was going to be a special type of prison film. Mother nature in all her glory, a bird of prey elegantly gliding through the air in pursuit of its target, then bam! Trapped in a fence, cut to a prison van, a prisoner menacingly staring down a frightened young man, himself trapped, but a wise old bird of years and years of incarceration experience sidles up alongside the youngster, about to take him under his protective wing. The healing of the title begins, for man, boy and creatures, a metaphor heavy narrative that thankfully is beautifully written and portrayed.

Directed by Craig Monahan, who also co-writes the screenplay with Alison Nisselle, this Australian film stars Hugo Weaving, Don Hany, Xavier Samuel and Mark Leonard Winter. Music is by David Hirschfelder and cinematography by Andrew Lesnie. Story follows a small group of prisoners working in a penal system approved rehabilitation of injured birds of prey programme. But outside of this harmonious circle lay differing problems, bully boy cons trying to muscle in with their poison, and then there is serrated family ties outside the prison gates that seem impossible to be healed...

Throughout the pic there are broken beings, inmates, creatures and wardens, all in need of redemption or a restart in life. There's a lot going in the story as such, but it all makes for a gratifying whole because the makers have taken their time to build the characters. Tech credits are excellent, with the performances of the lead actors leading from the front. Weaving giving high end professionalism as the emotionally troubled main guard is something of a given, while Samuel (The Loved Ones) looks like he is about to build himself a worthwhile career.

The film, however, in human form belongs to Hany, who gets the plum role of Iranian Viktor Khadem, the old lag who is the centre of the story. His accent sometimes sounds more South African than Iranian, but his ability to say so much with pained visual ticks and a becalmed delivery of crucial dialogue really cements the heart of the story's worth.

Elsewhere, Lesnie's wide angled photography does justice to the surroundings when the story goes outside of the prison walls into the outback, and of course the grace of the birds is given appropriate splendour. Which leads to bird trainer Andrew Payne, who along with editor Suresh Ayya, deserves a mighty pat on the back for ensuring that Healing is beating a true heart from all standpoints.

This is a lovely film waiting to be discovered by grown ups who are able to get involved with the thematic beats of the story and accept its deliberate pacing in the process. 8/10


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