Esther Harris, a young woman praised for her virtue and devotion to Warren F. Vanderbilt's Prophetic Watchman Ministries, has been given the opportunity of a lifetime - to attend Vanderbilt's Kingdom Bible College and to marry Phillip Sawyer, the son of a minister and a Kingdom student being groomed for the ministry. When the fundamentalist Christian sect falls on hard times, Esther looks for employment at a local health food store to supplement the group's income. At the store, Esther gets a chance to share her faith with her new manager, Gabriel, a devout skeptic and preacher's kid, and his roommate, Mark, a college drop-out who finds Christian television to be great entertainment. Shot entirely on location in Southern Indiana and Austin, Texas, Paradise Recovered attempts a modern-day retelling of the parable of the Good Samaritan while addressing the important topics of faith, tolerance, and spiritual abuse in modern culture.Written by
I had the privilege of seeing the Texas premier of this film. Paradise Recovered looks into the life of Esther, a woman who is a true believer in a very totalitarian religious cult. Bad things happen (I won't give away the plot twists) and Esther encounters real faith, relationships, freedom, and love.
The film is beautifully shot. The lighting, in particular, really caught my attention. In one scene, Esther walks up to a house in the morning and you can see the sun peeking through the trees. The light is not only a beautiful shot, but also a good metaphor. The costumes are spot-on. The dialog is strong in most scenes. Even the crowd scenes show finesse.
Overall, this was a beautiful view into a world that's not remotely beautiful. I'm glad to see an intelligent film tackling this tough issue in a grace-filled way.
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