Movie Review: Children of God

By OckyDub | Posted Oct 22 2011 | 4 Comments  
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Movie Review: Children of God
Director: Kareem Mortimer
Run time: 104 minutes

Movie Trailers are below…


I am not a huge fan of gay movies.  Usually they have stereotypical plots and a bunch of feminine guys being overly dramatic regardless if its a comedy or drama.

I must say I enjoyed watching Children of God. So much so I actually went back and watched certain scenes of the movie with the director’s commentary.  Children of God is based of a short film titled Float (you can watch it below) by director Kareem Mortimer.

This movie had many characters and dynamics that reminded me of the movie “Crash” on some levels…you know the characters whose lives are inter-twined or in some way they cross paths through out the movie.  This is ok with Children of God because of the numerous points and issues that this movie is attempting to focus on and how they are written in the script.

Just some of the issues include…Homophobia, gay bullying and violence, depression, bisexuality, down low lifestyle, religious dogma and hate speech from the church, political laws and regulations, loveless relationships, family drama, self discovery and coming out…just to name a few.

They are addressed well and you will be able to relate to something in this movie. Some may become personal for you as it did for me concerning past and present situations and events.

 

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The movie takes place in Nassau Bahamas and the small island of Eleuthera.  Yes you already know its some STRONG homosexual hatred going on here. As a matter of fact, the director Kareem Mortimer stated they actually had to change locations at one point because some of the locals got rowdy when they learned of the subject matter of the movie that was being film at a particular location.  The back ground story of the film is the church sponsored anti gay rights marches and gatherings that are taking place on the island to prevent the passages of gay rights legislation.

The main character is Johnny; a smart white gay young man who is shy, depressed, bullied, confused, a hypochondriac and is on the verge of flunking out of art school.  His love interest is Romeo; a closeted young black man who is somewhat of a free spirit, plays in local band, has a overbearing religious mother and currently has a girlfriend.


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Johnny and Romeo form a connection when Johnny is visiting the beautiful island of Eleuthera (which is apart of the Bahamas).  Johnny is staying at a rental property owned by his caring but stern art teacher.  She knows Johnny is depressed because it is showing through his art work.  She sends him to the island to clear his mind and to get inspiration for his midterm project so he will not fail her class.

Romeo lives on this island where he plays in a local band at a bar for tourist.  It is also made known early that Johnny and Romeo also graduated from the same high school years before.


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The supporting characters in the movie are Lena; an overly religious preacher’s wife who learns she has a venereal disease given to her by her husband.  She is so religious in fact she doesn’t even want to take the medication to cure her STD, she would rather “pray it away”.

The preacher Reverend Ralph Mackey; a fire and brimstone, anti-homosexual, pulpit pimp who is (you guessed it) on the down low and secretly sleeps with men…hence his hypocritical nasty ass transmits a venereal disease to his wife.  He has a great line in the movie…”You have to give people something to hate, it brings them together.”

Lena visits the island of Eleuthera on “church business”…to get signatures from the locals to present to the Prime Minister in Nassau to stop the passage of a gay rights bill.  By the way she is close friends with Romeo’s mother…they grew up together in Nassau. This is why I used the “Crash” reference because they are on an island and everyone knows someone you know.

Even though some of the acting in some scenes was a little unbelievable, for the most part the actor’s performances are good and overall this was definitely a good movie because of the way it tackled some of the issues mentioned above.  I also thought the cinematography was very good through out the movie.

The full length movie is so much better than the short film Float and the actor who plays Johnny in the full length movie is a great actor and more masculine compared to the actor who plays Johnny in Float.  The endings are different between the short film and the full length feature. The full length movie ending was very unexpected and I think was more realistic and relevant.

If you rent or purchase the DVD (I rented it through NetFlix) I would recommend going over to the “extras” and listening to some of the director’s commentary to get a back story of the scenes, characters, and the reasoning certain elements are in the film.

I give Children of God 3.5 our of 5 stars due to it’s content and the way it handles the subject matter.

The short film Float along with the trailer for the full length movie Children of God are below.  Also there is a short interview with the actor who plays Romeo, Stephen Tyrone Williams


 
 
 

– Octavius

About the Author
OckyDub

Octavius is a founder and editor of Cypher Avenue. He's here to help speak for us and show the world that masculine gay / bisexual men of color are not a part of the stereotypical gay normal that is seen and fed to the masses. No...we are a distinct breed, filled with character and pride. Cypher Avenue is here to show the world how we are different.

   
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