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Children of God [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Tla
  • Release Date: June 7 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • ASIN: B004RC8NZQ

Product Description

Children Of God

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By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on Sept. 13 2011
Format: DVD
This is a full length version of writer and director, Kareem Mortimer's earlier short called `Float. It stars Johnny Ferro as `Jonny' a reclusive scholarship, art student, whose work is lacking in passion. His art teacher thinks he needs some inspiration and so sends him to stay at her home on the Bahamian island of Eleuthera. He is already suffering bullying and homophobia in Nassau, so decides to go. Once there he meets Romeo (Stephen Tyrone Williams) who is also a refugee from Nassau trying to escape the prying attentions of his over bearing mother.

Romeo makes some initial advances on Jonny but is rebuked, undeterred he carries on until he gains his confidence and a relationship - of sorts - begins. There is also a dual plot of the hypocritical, homophobic, preacher, who also likes a bit of cruising himself. His wife, played brilliantly by Margaret Laurena Kemp, has caught a not so social disease and is blaming him; he says she has turned to the devil so she goes off to the same island to see if he will return to save their marriage.

What unfolds exposes deep set homophobia and traditional family set ups based on narrow and ignorant views of Christianity and the Old Testament. There are no new plots here, but what is new is the setting, this was made with the full co-operation of The Bahamas Film Council, and it should be lauded for trying to address the religious ignorance and bigotry which gives support to the lies spread by rampant homophobes.

Where is it let down? Well despite some great acting, there are also some very woeful performances, this is not helped by the video kind of format it has been recorded in, this makes it feel like a day time soap.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 54 reviews
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
A Terrific Character Study And Romance Loses Subtlety With Overwrought Religious And Political Subplots June 4 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
At the heart of Kareem Mortimer's "Children of God" are two stories--one of religious intolerance and one of self acceptance. This is perhaps not surprising considering that these two issues tend to be recurrent themes when dealing openly with homosexuality in film (and in life). Mortimer's piece is certainly an easy recommendation, but the two sides of the screenplay don't always rest in an easy alliance. On the one hand, the gentle and surprisingly subtle story of love awakening is expertly done with moments of amazing tenderness and real warmth. Conversely, as the picture attempts to deal with the political and religious aspects of the story--things can be a bit heavy handed. In many ways, I want to say this film is absolutely great and in many ways it is. But when it matters the most, the film gives in to some cliches that were completely unnecessary--including the most expected finale in films trying too hard to make a point. I guess I'm torn because I both loved this movie AND wished for more.

Set in the Bahamas, the story introduces us to a shy art student (Johnny Ferro) grappling with his sexual identity. When he gets out of the city, he meets an alluring new friend (Stephen Tyrone Williams) who helps break down the barriers that he has built around himself. A mass of neurotic tendencies, Ferro is absolutely terrific and understated and is well matched by the appealing Williams. As Ferro starts to accept himself, Williams must also begin to face the expectations placed on him by his family and society in general. This story is so well told and heartfelt and I was completely won over. Concurrently, we meet a religious leader's wife who is leading a movement against homosexual rights. Of course, her hypocritical husband is a closeted man who has given her a venereal disease. How's that for convenient plotting? Everywhere you turn, characters are watching news about the rally and the political movement on television--it must be a monumental thing to be so widely viewed!

After a big confrontation in church, things start to resolve themselves very quickly for everyone involved. But then we get that unfortunate ending. Mortimer opts for a poignant finish that has been telegraphed and used in dozens of other films--and it's a shame really, because prior to that the film really felt like it had a fresh and unique viewpoint. All the actors acquit themselves well, even in the religious subplot where the script pushes far beyond subtlety. I'm certainly not trying to sound discouraging--I loved most of the movie. I happen to think this has many elements of depth and power and had the potential to be a brilliant film. It falls short in the end (for me anyway)--but still remains a significantly accomplished, professional, and well made entry into a genre that needs all the good films it can get. KGHarris, 6/11.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Children of God is a revelation. Stephen Tyrone Williams is a find. Bravo to all involved. May 19 2011
By Tom O'Leary - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
Originally a wonderful short movie called FLOAT, CHILDREN OF GOD is a moving, thought-provoking, funny and brilliantly poetic love story. Set in the idyllic world of the Bahamas, a blocker painter (Johnny Ferro) searches for inspiration for his painting but instead finds inspiration in the arms of another lost soul (Stephen Tyrone Williams). Director Kareem Mortimer has set this beautiful story in an island paradise. But the characters he has created keep finding ways to keep paradise from coming true for them. The acting in this movie is revelatory. All of he performances are top notch, especially those by Johnny Ferro, Stephen Tyrone Williams and Margaret Laurena Kemp. The camera especially loves the beautiful and sensuous Stephen Tyrone Williams. This movie is a work of art that should be seen by everyone. Bravo to all involved.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A Terrific Character Study And Romance Loses Subtlety With Overwrought Religious And Political Subplots June 21 2011
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
At the heart of Kareem Mortimer's "Children of God" are two stories--one of religious intolerance and one of self acceptance. This is perhaps not surprising considering that these two issues tend to be recurrent themes when dealing openly with homosexuality in film (and in life). Mortimer's piece is certainly an easy recommendation, but the two sides of the screenplay don't always rest in an easy alliance. On the one hand, the gentle and surprisingly subtle story of love awakening is expertly done with moments of amazing tenderness and real warmth. Conversely, as the picture attempts to deal with the political and religious aspects of the story--things can be a bit heavy handed. In many ways, I want to say this film is absolutely great and in many ways it is. But when it matters the most, the film gives in to some cliches that were completely unnecessary--including the most expected finale in films trying too hard to make a point. I guess I'm torn because I both loved this movie AND wished for more.

Set in the Bahamas, the story introduces us to a shy art student (Johnny Ferro) grappling with his sexual identity. When he gets out of the city, he meets an alluring new friend (Stephen Tyrone Williams) who helps break down the barriers that he has built around himself. A mass of neurotic tendencies, Ferro is absolutely terrific and understated and is well matched by the appealing Williams. As Ferro starts to accept himself, Williams must also begin to face the expectations placed on him by his family and society in general. This story is so well told and heartfelt and I was completely won over. Concurrently, we meet a religious leader's wife who is leading a movement against homosexual rights. Of course, her hypocritical husband is a closeted man who has given her a venereal disease. How's that for convenient plotting? Everywhere you turn, characters are watching news about the rally and the political movement on television--it must be a monumental thing to be so widely viewed!

After a big confrontation in church, things start to resolve themselves very quickly for everyone involved. But then we get that unfortunate ending. Mortimer opts for a poignant finish that has been telegraphed and used in dozens of other films--and it's a shame really, because prior to that the film really felt like it had a fresh and unique viewpoint. All the actors acquit themselves well, even in the religious subplot where the script pushes far beyond subtlety. I'm certainly not trying to sound discouraging--I loved most of the movie. I happen to think this has many elements of depth and power and had the potential to be a brilliant film. It falls short in the end (for me anyway)--but still remains a significantly accomplished, professional, and well made entry into a genre that needs all the good films it can get. KGHarris, 6/11.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Very Very Close to Perfect Sept. 9 2011
By C. Marshall - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This movie is very satisfying. I almost gave it 5 stars. Finally there is a movie that shows different types of gay people which makes the film more realistic. I was rooting for the female lead character because I really wanted her to come to her senses. She is shown in many lights and I love how real she is even if she is wrong in her beliefs, other than that she is so beautiful and you will grow to love her too, I promise. I love the two main characters who happen to be gay, they display a romance that some people may not expect but you will love them. I read someone's review and saw this movie so I am now also very very glad and excited about this movie. I'm happy I watched it and hopefully someone will watch it because of my review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
It felt truncated March 7 2012
By grammaton6leric - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Coming into the film you are introduced to your thoughtful main character who turns out to be a brooding young artist; it's been done, but I suppose it's true that artists do feel more. Johnny (main) has a missed coital opportunity with a local guy followed by a fit of remorseful vomiting. So it's not too difficult to infer that Johnny is struggling with some underlying issues. The film shifts to his art school, where his surprisingly concerned instructor notifies him that he is failing due to the lack of "feeling" in his work (only in art school). In order to aid her student in rediscovering his voice, the instructor offers Johnny the use of her house in Eleuthera on the condition that he paints a very specific scene, with feeling. While this is transpiring, the dichotomy of the film is revealed in the unfolding story of a religious leader's wife (Lena) struggling with the news that she has contracted a venereal disease. Her husband, who it turns out is using his religious influence to rally people against the homosexual rights movement taking place in the Bahamas, is having clandestine affairs with other men (what a twist) and infected his wife, though he won't admit it.

The underlying point of contention in the film is the issue of homosexual rights in the Bahamas, so after Lena is brutally rebuffed by her husband upon receiving the news that she is infected, Lena takes their son to Eleuthera while she organizes a rally against homosexuality being tolerated in their country. It's on this trip that Johnny meets his counterpart in the film, a local man named Romeo who it turns out went to highschool with him. Romeo helps Johnny move his vehicle and they begin a fledgling romance after having a swim together. This romance is complicated by Romeo's need to keep up the appearance of being heterosexual; this conflict comes to a head at a beach-front gathering where Romeo is with his girlfriend and rebuffs Johnny openly. Along the way Lena finds comfort in the arms of the kind, alluring and I feel all too understated Reverend Clyde Ritchie (they don't actually have sex I think, just draw strength from eachother).

Johnny finds his way to Reverend Clyde after being rejected by Romeo, where the two have a truly meaningful and unexpected interaction, a reaffirmation of life.

This film does play on some cliches, the brooding, lonely artist, the evil, closeted minister, the gay character who can't accept himself, so he lashes out; I think first and foremost though, it keeps you concerned about the issue of accpeting homosexuality and it forces you to care about the lives of the characters, also the filmmakers didn't play up the interracial romance card which they certainly could have, it was refreshing.
Ultimately, the issue of Lena and her husband resolves itself with subtlety at a family dinner (for the most part), where Romeo also begins to accept his feelings for Johnny. Then comes one of the most hackneyed movie cliches at the end, an attempt to ramp up the poignancy, relevance and staying power of the film I feel; I also feel this was a miss, the film could have achieved greater meaning and lasted longer had the filmmakers chosen to think a bit outside rahter than going to the extreme (it seems every gay film that wants to be taken seriously goes this route).

In no way am I discouraging anyone from viewing this film, it's beautifully shot, well acted; it just staggers at the end, falling short of a satisfactory conclusion. Still, a marvelous effort, also Johnny Ferro and Van Brown were both a joy to watch.

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