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60 Second Verdict: The Heart of Man

60 Second Verdict: The Heart of Man

60 Second Verdict: The Heart of Man

7 July 2018

The makers of The Heart of Man understand the potency of real people sharing their lives.

By Ben McEachen

The Heart of Man is a well-intended, dramatized documentary about real-life experiences of the famous Prodigal Son parable. The story Jesus told about a self-destructive child returning to their father’s love is the backdrop, as people (including The Shack author William Paul Young) confess to the damage and pain of their own sexual sins. And they also discuss the one thing that brought help, healing and hope to them all.

 

WHAT’S GOOD

The makers of The Heart of Man understand the potency of real people sharing their lives, especially when all are linked by a common ailment and remedy. Impressively, the on-screen confessions about sexual sin don’t become tawdry or so depressing that you want to run for cover. Instead, as people share how their lust and obsessions fuelled their descent to rock bottom, an effortless contrast emerges when they reveal how the incredible love of God transformed them.  

WHAT’S NOT

I like the idea of showcasing how people fit into the Prodigal Son paradigm … but the decision to also ‘artistically’ re-enact the parable on-screen proves to be corny and distracting. Actors try hard to inject emotion but they have little to work with and cannot match what each interviewee is revealing. The Heart of Man also takes time to warm up and get stuck into the heart of the matter. This is not helped by the initial structuring of interviewees, as it jumps all over the place before settling into more coherent narratives. And while sexual addiction and problems tend to be more a male issue than female, it still would have seemed better balanced to have more female voices represented.

SPIRITUALLY SPEAKING

The Heart of Man runs an inherent risk of suggesting sexual sin is somehow worse than any other. But no-one involved with this production is declaring that that is the case. Instead, they are hoping the devastation and heartache of sexual sin will spotlight the amazing forgiving love of God, the Father – which is available to all. While the critical roles of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are notably downplayed – and humanity itself can have too much of a starring role - The Heart of Man features some stirring accounts of the unique power of God. A clear message here is that you and I can not change our ways on our own steam, irrespective of what are particularly sins or issues might be. Instead, the mighty and strengthening love of God (through Jesus Christ) is the universe’s only force for wholehearted change in any human – man or woman.

Heart of Man is rated M.

Visit www.heartofmanmovie.com.au for how to see The Heart of Man.

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