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Surviving Confession

USA 2019
produced by
Sutton McKee, Jo Rauen, Matthew Tibbenham (executive), Nathan Shane Miller (executive)
directed by Matthew Tibbenham
starring Clayton Nemrow, Jessica Lynn Parsons, Jayne Marin (as Misty Bialys), Kevin Ging, Sarah Schreiber, Jerry Bornstein, Ken Gamble, Nathan Douglas (as Nate Berger), Ed Robinson
written by Nathan Shane Miller, music by Daniel Perry

review by
Mike Haberfelner

By and large, Father Morris (Clayton Nemrow) considers himself a devout servant of the Lord, he believes his faith to be strong and his resolve unyielding - there's just one thing that he doesn't like about his job, and that's confession. Sure, he understands and supports the idea behind it, to forgive sinners who have swayed from the way, but he gets slightly fed up with hearing the same confessions week after week from the same people who have no intention of better themselves but expect to be absolved on a weekly base anyhow, he gets annoyed by the occasional drunk asking for forgiveness because that might save him from a hangover, and gets outraged when a terminally ill man (Ken Gamble) admits to all sorts of crimes without remorse but asks the Father to fix things with God anyhow. And then one day enter Amber (Jessica Lynn Parsons), a troubled teenaged girl who's not really into religion and seems to have come more to challenge Father Morris - in a game of wits the Father is sure he'll win ... but she's wise beyond her age and before long has managed to look behind his facade, see the desires the man of God has bottled up for ages, and get out of him that he's in (unfulfilled) love with one of his parishioners, Mary (Misty Bialys). But Amber isn't here merely to tease the Father, she genuinely wants to help, too, and after a time the priest does see this - it's just that it's less than certain that was she considers help might not make things only worse ...

 

Surviving Confession is an extremely interesting little film as it really gets a lot out of its limited locations and cast by actually underplaying things: This is not a film that tries to hammer home a message (and never claims to be pro or anti organized religion even) but tells its story in a subtle way carried by pointed dialogue (brought to life by a solid cast) rather than big action, cleverly interrupting the main confrontation priest vs teenaged girl by the occasional parishioners confessing to not only lighten up things but also indirectly support the story (to an extent that will only become clear in the finale), which also helps in the very clever build-up of the story. And in the end, the film really delivers food for thought, but in a very entertaining way ...

 

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Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD