ECHOES OF INNOCENCE
Release Date: September 09, 2005
Starring: Sara Simmonds, Jake McDorman,
Matt Vodvarka, Cody Linley,
Natali Jones, Dana Jackson,
Scottie Wilkison, and Madison
Genre: Supernatural Drama
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Rating: PG-13 for Sexual Content,
Violence, & Thematic Issues
Distributor: New World Pictures
Director: Nathan Todd Sims
Producer: Nathan Todd Sims and Clayton
Writer: Nathan Todd Sims
Address Comments To:Nathan Todd Sims
New World Pictures
P.O Box 142858
Irving, TX 75014
Phone: (972) 506-9870
Fax: (972) 869-1192
The filmmakers have turned a contemporary, rebellious teenager movie inside out. Sarah Jenkins is a beautiful, troubled loner whom her classmates nickname "Virg" because once upon a time, when she was much younger, she gave a talk on her heroine, Joan of Arc. After the talk, her classmates beat her up and ridiculed her for being a virgin. The audience learns through flashbacks that one young boy, Christopher, befriended her. At the tender age of 13, they promised their love for each other and promised that they would remain chaste and pure until they were married on her 18th birthday.
Christopher had to move out of town, and Sarah has kept to her promise while immersing herself in her Christian faith, including frequent trips to a broken-down old church where she sings Psalms, prays, does the rosary, hears God's voice, and falls into trances. Her mother, who had Sarah out of wedlock, seems to dislike Sarah and has been resisting her ever since Sarah's childhood romance with Christopher. Sarah now lives with her grandmother, who pays no attention to her whatsoever.
In senior year in high school, two young men come into her life. The first one, a senior named Alec, is determined to bed her, just as he had done with many of her classmates. Alec is the epitome of evil and even plans to blow up the school. The other young man in her life is Dave, a journalist for the school newspaper. Sarah unexpectedly gets the lead role in the spring play, so Dave decides to find out who Sarah really is and to give the play some publicity. Through an interview, Dave gets to know Sarah, and they start to fall for one another. The question is, will Sarah break her promise to Christopher?
ECOES OF INNOCENCE was done on a ridiculously low budget, so there are some silly BLAIR WITCH moments. That said, most of the writing, cinematography and direction is far superior to most movies. Writer and director Nathan Todd Sims has learned his craft and knows how to keep his audience on the edge of their seats. Even so, many people in the screening audience loved this movie, some were very enthusiastic about the abstinence message, a few were upset that the almost Gothic loner was the heroine (because they didn't like having the Christian always marginalized as a kook), and some did not like the symbol laden theology.
However, all of these concerns are the same things that will may help some young people relate to the movie. Most adolescents see themselves as being alienated. So, instead of the typical protagonist fighting against Christianity, ECHOES OF INNOCENCE creates an alienated heroine who has a living faith and living values.
Therefore, we commend ECHOES OF INNOCENCE. It is clear that the filmmaker has great talent and should become a major force in the movie world. Paretns should urge their teenagers to see this movie.
Almost a supernatural thriller, ECOES OF INNOCENCE was done on a ridiculously low budget, so there are some silly moments, but most of the production and the writing is superior. Writer and director Nathan Todd Sims has learned his craft well. Despite some possible worldview concerns, Mr. Sims creates an alienated heroine who has a living faith and living values. He gives the movie a powerful abstinence message within an intense, suspenseful story that's attractive to teenage audiences, the ones who need the message most.