The sparseness of space meets my eyes as the opening scene appears—so deep, so endless, so majestic. Then flying across skies to soak in spectacular images of undulating mountains, towering cliff faces and broad-spanning primal oceans filling the screen in cinematic brilliance, all at once the beauty and ferocity of the power of creation catches my attention through images of thunderous waves and burning lava.
This story speaks and we are reminded that there is no place that God is unaware of, not even the innermost parts of the womb where we are hidden in formation. All is known, all is carefully prepared. It is all God’s and it is amazing.
Yet lying beneath these spectacular images are caves, dark hidden caves that don’t want to be found, where secrets lurk, where pain and darkness reign and where mankind tries to hide their shame from the Creator, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden.
The Heart of Man takes us to such a place. We are invited into the story of the biblical prodigal son where we find a father preparing a way for his child, cutting paths and preparing instruments which, when played together, plays a melody of unity and relationship. This melody continues as the son grows, bringing joy to both of their hearts, until the son is distracted by another who calls. The son’s song ceases, and his instrument is broken as his free will leads him across a deep divide, creating a great distance between them.
As the Father continues to play their melody calling for his child to come home, the son draws further away until he finds himself where lustful desires and imaginations turn deathly sour, laid vulnerable in a dark and tortured prison of the soul. Though a way out has been provided by the Father, the son’s choices push him further.
We are taken to where the son is most broken, beaten and bloodied against the cold ground of the cave. In one of the most touching moments of the film, the Father looks past the shame and disgust, cradling his child’s face in his hands, embracing him in this ugliest of places with eyes that say “even this won’t separate us”. This is the moment of redemption.
The Father has made him a new instrument. His unrelenting love pursues him, fights for him and releases him in a very moving visual depiction. This is a heartrending moment portraying a love beyond limits, a love which, once invited in to the caves of our lives that we think are too shameful and ugly to allow God into, is able to bring light, and release us from the bondage and shackles that may have reached their hooks into us.
This tragic yet beautiful story of redemption is interwoven with real life testimonies from modern day prodigals. Heartrending stories of experiences with sexual sin and how it affected not only themselves but also their loved ones, reveal redemption from places where only two choices often remained: life or death. These testimonies are raw, honest and often uncomfortable to hear, yet what they all have in common is the awareness of the redemptive light of God that was shed into their darkest places producing transformation and newness that at one time seemed impossible.
The meaning of this film may be different for everyone depending on each individual’s life experiences and struggles. The most important message I see in this film is one of God breaking through into the hidden spaces, the secrets we carry and the emotional prisons we build for ourselves. Knowing that God is well aware of these places and yet still loves us brings freedom—He is not repulsed by us.
When we feel the accusations of the enemy and the torture of the soul, and turn back to look to the Father, Jesus covers us with the blood that was shed for us and redeems us. Once again His song is heard. He has made a new creation where the melody’s sweet. He is playing our song.
Written by Eric Esau and Jason Pamer, this film is impacting and should be commended in its intention to open up conversations and bring some kind of healing in a time where sexual abuse is at its highest.
It is strongly advised that this film is not suitable for children’s viewing due to adult themes. If you or someone you know require support in this area we recommend speaking with someone you know and trust. Furthermore local
professional counselling may be of help. If you cannot find local psychology services, then we would recommend Psychology Café who have online services available here.
To dig deeper into ‘The Heart Of Man‘ and for more info on the movie, click here