Monday, April 23, 2012

Beyond Acceptance Movie Review

“Love is trying, and trying one more time.”

The Producer of the new Christian movie Beyond Acceptance sent me an email asking if Looking for Overland would be interested in reviewing his movie as it begins to pick up steam. I think he believed that I would be a easy target. A year ago I was in Michigan and he told me about the movie and my interest was clearly piqued because it was a movie about a family going through a difficult adoption.

Adoption has always been a part of my life. Many of my friends growing up were adopted and my family adopted one of my sisters when I was 16. I have seen adoption from more angles that I would have thought possible.

The movie Beyond Acceptance tackles adoption and the issue of what being a part of a family means. The Border family goes through the process of deciding to adopt and that brings the family close together. However, the difficulty of bringing someone new into the family sets in and life gets harder.

Watching the movie several truths gripped my heart. The first truth the Border family learns is that doing the right thing might be the hardest thing you can do. They also struggle with seeing that sometimes we need to be willing to live without something before we should have it (think the story of Solomon, the wise judge, deciding who the real mother was by threatening to cut the baby in half). Finally, they learn that one of the most important things about loving relationships is that although we do not always happily love each other, we are always trying. And trying one more time. Even when we don’t see results.

For me, one of the most powerful scenes in the whole movie involved a transformation that no one in the family could see. It reminds me that often times change happens like mountains forming on the ocean floor. Above the water you would have no idea that under the surface entire mountain ranges have grown as the result of tectonic activity. Even though no one sees the change, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

The film has a solid soundtrack including one of my favorite songs in the closing credits. The physical acting is better than the spoken acting that is stilted at times. Part of that, I am sure, come from the awkwardness of the family trying to talk with a little boy who will not talk back. One personal highlight was seeing a friend, Jeff Bolzman, as an extra in one of the scenes, but I doubt that will factor into whether or not you run out to buy the DVD.

Like many low budget films, the opening is rough. If I had one piece of advice to give someone producing a low budget project, I would suggest they start filming in the middle of the script so that the opening will include peak performances as your team hits its stride.

Adoption is hard for everyone involved, but then I remember that Jesus went through an even more painful process to adopt me. I am thankful for that! I am also thankful for those beautiful people who open their homes to take someone who seems beyond acceptance and who prove that love can transform lives. Transforming love tries, and then tries one more time.

The writer and many of the people who worked on this film are homeschool alumni. This was their first big project, so if you are like me and want them to do more, order the DVD and help spread this important message.

By Jeremiah Lorrig

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