Higher Ground

Higher Ground

DVD - 2012 | Widescreen presentation.
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"A tight-knit spiritual community is thrown off-kilter when one of their own begins to question her faith"--Container.

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j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

Annika prayed for me in tongues. She called it a prayer language. I thought it was so beautiful.
-Does Ned know about that?
What difference does it make? She's worshiping God. It makes her feel closer to him. There can't be anything wrong with...
-Corinne. Intelligent people don't mutter to themselves. The deceiver comes disguised as an angel of light. You know that. Did you understand her?
No.
-There you go. God is not a God of confusion. Just because something sounds beautiful doesn't mean it's good. Polish gibberish.

j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

Why are you here?
-I'm here because... I'm here because my husband of 15 years asked me to come.
There's a fiery lake waiting for you with whips that'll cut your flesh and brands that'll sear your skin.
-And do you get to watch?
This is not a joke, Mrs. Miller. You are crucifying Christ all over again. I see right into your soul. A year ago about this time, I stopped at a McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin. And as I was finishing up, I happened to see a city councilman whose affair with his secretary was common knowledge. Even his wife knew. And I took my last sip of coffee, and God says to me, "Rebuke him. Tell him to repent." Now, I did not wanna rebuke this guy, to be honest. But God does not take no for an answer. So I stand up.

j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

I walk over there and I lay it out for him. I said, "God wants you to repent from
your sin or he will deal with you." And that man looked back at me with eyes as cold as any devil's and told me to go fxck myself. Well, I shrugged.
I'd done what God told me to do. And I walked out. Later that day, that city councilman skidded on a slick road over a cliff, dead. I look at you and I'm eating my Egg McMuffin all over again. You are worshiping at the altar of yourself.

j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

Let me read one aloud.
-What, now?
Yes, now. You wouldn't be the first one I've read to today. There's an 82-year-old lady who receives nothing but junk mail and my daily poem.
-That's lovely.
Yeah, okay. Heh.
"Never give all the heart, for love
Will hardly seem worth thinking of
To passionate women if it seem
Certain, and they never dream
That it fades out from kiss to kiss;
For everything that's lovely is
But a brief, dreamy, kind delight.
O never give the heart outright," (Poem ended here in film.)
(For they, for all smooth lips can say,
Have given their hearts up to the play.
And who could play it well enough
If deaf and dumb and blind with love?
He that made this knows all the cost,
For he gave all his heart and lost.)
-That's Yeats?
It is. You have the look of a woman who gives all her heart. It's hard to give less, you know. Mm. I hope you've planted some of these flowers where you can see them too.

j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

You know, when I was a little girl, my pastor told me that Jesus was knocking on the door of my heart. And so I listened real hard, and I thought I heard him. I did. I raised my hand and I told everyone that Jesus was standing there, and he wanted me. He wanted me. Tap, tap, tap. So I invited him in. "Welcome," I said, and I gave my heart outright.

j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

And I'm standing here today, and I'm telling you, I'm telling you today that I'm still waiting for him to make himself at home. You know, I call and I call. And there have been times where I know he answered me. I'm... Times where I'm sure of it. But other times, I've got the porch light on, and he doesn't come. And I feel like I live in an empty place. And I told God, I told him: "You know what? I'm not gonna let go." I won't let go until he blesses me. But I'm wrestling something nameless, you know, without form and void. And I just want it to be solid so bad. I need all of this to be real, and I don't always know how to make it real. I don't know how to make it real, so I am... Forgive me.

j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

He walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own. What more could anyone want, right? Taking a stroll with God in the garden. Having a chat with the creator. Asking him questions and getting the answers. I mean, you couldn't be any more safe or secure. There's no higher ground. Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved. We call him so many things. We call him, uh, El Shaddai. Lord. Father God. Jesus. Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father. Adonai. Jehovah-jireh. The ancient Hebrew alphabet contained no vowels so God's name was rendered only in consonants. And the vowels had to be provided orally when a word was spoken. But the rabbis didn't wanna use God's name in vain, so his name was never spoken. So all we're really left with is just this string of consonants, you know, an unspeakable name.

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j
jimg2000
Jan 22, 2018

Not exactly a call to reform men-centric evangelical traditions as a middle age mother recounted her religious choices made by others and herself. No big acts-of-God drama, or radical changes as Calvinists or to promote World Communion of Reformed Churches movements. But no doubt the story reflected the spiritual journey of many ordinary women's religious faiths, not just Christian but Islam, Hinduism, Judaism (Today, at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest site, women and men pray in sharply divided separate sections!!!) etc.

3.5/4 Roger Ebert
80% Rotten Tomatoes
6.3/10 IMDb

l
lettheheelingbegin
Oct 05, 2016

Good basic entertainment with interesting, though draggy, subject matter. Good acting, but more verve would have helped. May be worth a look. Famiga is very good.

j
JuniperAvenue
Oct 12, 2013

A strong, nuanced film about how a woman's faith changes, from childhood to her mid-40s. Insightful and well-acted. If it leaves you squirming, it means the movie's meant for you.

m
mistical
Jul 17, 2012

a very odd, creepy, caricatured feel to it. a few poignant moments. it gives the impression that the author (of the book this is based on) is sadly shallow, hardly understanding the spirituality she claims to be exploring, and ultimately giving in to self love.

a
Adonis
Jun 29, 2012

This movie was very boring. I had to turn it off after 30 minutes.

voisjoe1 May 27, 2012

Vera Farmiga stars and directs (debut) this film about families devoted to Christian Fundamentalism. In their wanderings through their religion, Vera and her husband break up, although Vera continues to believe in the religion, just not in conjuction and not with the same intensity as with her husband. Seems like a portrait of different levels of belief as the characters struggle through life's blessings and struggles.

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