WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED
Jesus Can Redeem Anyone
Release Date: October 01, 2004
Starring: Kimberly Elise, Loretta
Devine, Debbi Morgan, and
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
Director: Michael Schultz
Producer: Reuben Cannon
PRODUCER: Stan Foster
Writer: Stan Foster
BASED ON THE NOVEL
BY: T.D. Jakes
Address Comments To:Magnolia Pictures
115 West 27th Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 924-6701
Fax: (212) 924-6742
What sets apart LOOSED from typical Christian movies is its more frank, less glossed over portrayal of those destructive decisions. As a child, Michelle Jordan is physically and sexually abused by her mother’s boyfriend. She becomes bitter and spirals downward into prostitution and drug abuse. Eventually, she experiences the hope that comes with knowing God and leaves her troubled past behind, though not without making some mistakes.
Realism is the goal here. In order to appeal to audiences who have experienced abuse or who know others that have, the filmmakers create a portrait of abuse, which shows that they know what they’re saying. Without that credibility, the answer they offer might be meaningless.
Statistics commonly show that as many as one in every three girls is sexually molested by the age of 18, and one in every four boys. These numbers are horrendous. LOOSED aims to speak to this huge population of abuse victims and tell them that they’re not alone or isolated, and also tell them that regardless of what has happened, Jesus can provide a way out of the sadness, compulsion and pain. The movie also speaks to the people who commit these acts, extending Jesus Christ’s redemption to them, too.
That resolution brings us to the peculiar part. WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED could be used by individuals or churches to start a dialogue about faith. It could be an evangelical tool to reach abuse victims. Many in the church community, however, will be put off by the brief sex flashback scene and the drug use, and they might lose sight of the movie’s potential effectiveness.
LOOSED doesn’t make for a fun date or a family night at the movies, but it is an uplifting experience, whether you relate to the story or not. There are some presentation problems, however. Michelle’s faux-poetic speech in the prison scenes, for example, is terribly grating. Also, the story’s timeline is a little hazy. Furthermore, T.D. Jakes seems to be omnipresent in the movie’s fictional world, on every television, but these intrusions are smoothly done for a low budget movie. The acting from Debbi Morgan and Michael Boatman is especially good.
Magnolia Pictures and the film’s producers should be commended for this effort. The more Christians can use movies to tell their stories without the trappings of a Sunday School video, the more their messages may be seen by mainstream audiences.
WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED has an explicitly Christian worldview where Jesus Christ represents freedom from the shackles of sin. Furthermore, it’s actually Jesus they’re talking about in the movie, not some abstract religious ideal. All of the characters change because of Christ’s movement in their lives. To represent the extremity of the transformations, however, physical abuse, drugs, alcohol, sex, and criminal violence are portrayed. What sets this movie apart from typical Christian movies is its more frank portrayal of such destructive decisions. Because it deals realistically with the pain and compulsion arising from sexual abuse, WOMAN THOU ART LOOSED is inappropriate for younger audiences, but it could speak powerfully to those who have seen abuse in their own lives. The acting from Debbi Morgan and Michael Boatman is especially good.