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This is one of the strangest films I've ever seen. As a child I went to see it with a church group and certainly didn't understand it's depth. The sentiment of the film always stayed with me and I bought it to watch once more. 1st off this is not what I'd call a typical "Christian" film in ANY way. It's message is not about a down and out prodigal son who returns, instead it is about the dynamic of the American family and a true spiritual quest. I say it is 'strange' because it merely hints at the specifics and never completely resolves key points that are slowly revealed during the film. It focuses on a fairly well to do family who have grown apart by years of going thru the motions and communication break down. Although it is indeed a story about the eldest son (John Hammond,) it also focuses on the entire family's search for both truth, closure and peace amongst the chaos of their everyday lives. I'd highly recommend this film to anyone who values film because it has all the makings of a great artistic piece...even if it falls a tad short. The viewer finds the end curious because hardly anything is put to bed in the typical Hollywood style. But that's also why it's very thought provoking. The film is really a lesson in hypocrisy regarding the individuals (the world over) who simply live life without ever breaking down barriers to find real faith and truth. It's absolutely amazing that this film was commissioned by the Billy Graham ministries because there's nothing preachy about it. Yes Graham is a Christian and the film deals with a family of supposed christians, but the crux of the film really deals with the individual's soul and search to make sense of life.I love this film because it is incredibly real. It reminds me of "ordinary people" starring Tim Hutton and Mary Tyler Moore, but in some ways it's more effective at revealing just how families exist and devolve under the pressure of American life.It's a shame that more film lovers have yet to see this small and wonderful gem of a film.
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