New to VOD this week:
Melbourne, Cleveland, Minneapolis-St Paul
Three stories explore resilience and forgiveness.
Director Dawn Mikkelson’s film interweaves three unrelated but thematically linked stories of injustice, grief, anger, and, ultimately, redemption. The strongest and most impactful of the three involves Mary, whose 21-year-old son Laramium was killed in 1993 by 16-year-old O’Shea. Years later, Mary lets go of years of anger and forges an unexpected bond with O’Shea as part of a restorative justice program, helping to heal both. The other threads in Mikkelson’s project involve Debra, the daughter of a mixed Aboriginal and white Australian couple, who was forcibly place by federal assimilationist policy into an abusive foster care system; and Kilong, a victim of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge who escaped from slave labor to become a refugee in the US, where he suffered from PTSD. While the latter two strands are not quite as well-developed as Mary’s, there’s certainly cumulative power in the film’s hopeful message, making this an imperfect but worthwhile project.