Children Of God

Children Of God


Reviewed by: James Benefield

At their best, narratives which feature a panoply of loosely interconnected stories all display rich, moving and deeply insightful glances into what connect us, what make us tick and, in some ways, how we're all going wrong. At their worst, these narratives turn out like Children Of God.

Primarily, this collection of lives, which loosely share themes of sexuality, prejudice and dogmatic beliefs, barely hold together as individual stories. Although set in and around the beautiful, seductive beaches and hills of the Bahamas (shot in bright, fantastic colours by director of photography Ian Bloom), the characters themselves are far less diverting and far too by the numbers. There's the fire and brimstone wife of a pastor, Lena (Margaret Laurena Kemp) who has been diagnosed with venereal disease, and just wants to pray the disease away. Elsewhere is aloof, and slightly annoying, artist Johnny (Johnny Ferro) who has retreated to a remote spot in order to improve his art before he fails his art class. And there's Romeo (Stephen Tyrone Williams) a popular, affable and slightly obnoxious local who becomes good friends with Johnny, to much talking from the locals.

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As the film begins to take on more and more issues to do with acceptance, it's clear that its heart is in the right place. However, there are too many ideas here for a film with such sketchy, one-dimensional characters. It's a shame to some degree, as some of the acting is pretty good. Williams' character is irritating but as an actor, he has charisma and screen presence, not to mention a pair of piercing eyes which were just made for the screen. Ferro pouts a little too many times for my tolerance levels, but it's hard not to feel some warmth for his character. There's also a lovely little scene, about half way through, in which the two share a near-silent (and near-naked) dance.

Beyond the beautiful, and beautifully shot, scenery there are some good points to be made about belief systems and personal boundaries and the odd good moment. Unfortunately the writing isn't up to scratch and none of the actors' best efforts can breathe life into the material for this to be a truly satisfying experience.

Reviewed on: 30 Mar 2011
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Children Of God packshot
Two men form a relationship against the background of an anti-gay rally in the Bahamas.
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Director: Kareem Mortimer

Writer: Kareem Mortimer

Starring: Johnny Ferro, Stephen Tyrone Williams, Margaret Laura Kemo, Sylvia Adams

Year: 2010

Runtime: 104 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: Bahamas


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