The Grand Theater is such a find in Tacoma, it’s a membership non-profit movie theater that amply covers the indie world and even has its own film festival, which is upcoming this week and features quite a few interesting-sounding films. But the sweet surprise is the cost of a matinée: $6.50. So I’ve seen more movies than is typical for me since I moved here.
Yesterday I saw Higher Ground. I reviewed Tree of Life in this blog a few months back, and a comparison is apt to the extent that both films tackle religious themes. About Tree, I concluded:
Sorry I can’t be more positive about this one. No, not really. Not sorry. It could have been a great film, but it’s not. It caved to theological right-leaning.
Higher Ground was much more religiously themed, yet avoided any cave to dogmatism. Like Tree, it had wonderful child actors and created a panorama of how life-span and family life affect one’s theological stance. Both movies showed women whose aspirations were subsumed by the role of wife and mother. But unlike Tree, Higher Ground tramples upon faith and rests serenely in doubt. I won’t describe the story, and the story is not what was most delightful about it. I will only say that there was a scene near the end, where dogs suddenly appeared, as if messengers, that took my breath away, and it was swept away as quickly as it appeared. This reflects my understanding of faith, there are fleeting moments when something happens, but I can’t rely on them, or pretend to know what they mean.
Go see it, I say.