"Finding Peace in the Old West"
Based on a true story, the modern western REDEMPTION: FOR ROBBING THE DEAD tells the story of the sheriff Henry Heath who brings to justice one of the most prolific grave robbers, Jean Baptiste, in 1862. Henry Heath is one tough sheriff, but he and his wife are being broken over the sickness of their daughter, Caroline, who’s slowly dying. Henry’s wife, Lucille, goes to the funeral director with a baptismal dress for her daughter to be buried.
The gravedigger, Jean Baptiste, has been digging up the graves late at night and stealing the clothes. He employs his wife, Marlis, in boiling and washing the clothes. He gets caught stealing the suit of clothes Henry bought for an outlaw he shot. The outlaw’s brother confronts Henry with the fact that he went to give his brother a decent burial but he was naked.
With a little investigation, Henry finds out Jean Baptiste is the grave robber. Jean Baptist is branded on his forehead with a logo for his crime and sentenced to live on an island in the Great Salt Lake. Everyone hates Jean Baptiste. Many of the townfolk want revenge because their loved ones were part of Baptiste’s ghoulish grave robbing.
Henry, however, hears that Baptiste lost a child, a little girl, when he was young. So, he starts to row out to the island to take care of Baptiste. The townfolk turn against Henry.
Everything comes to a head when Henry finds out Baptiste robbed Carline’s grave. Hate, revenge, murder, and unforgiveable sins burden not just Baptiste but also Henry. So, the question is, is there any redemption?
REDEMPTION is a beautifully photographed movie with some terrific understated acting. It has a haunting, compelling score. Regrettably, it drags in the middle because the plot switches from capturing the grave robber to dealing with sins. The Gospel is clearly presented by Jean Baptiste of all people, but regrettably this simple man throws a Gnostic twist into his presentation by suggesting that the soul and the body are separate, a Greek concept that doesn’t agree with the resurrection of the complete person. He does mention, however, the resurrection of Jesus Christ. There is prayer and eventual forgiveness and redemption. With some judicious editing, REDEMPTION would have been much better.
(CC, BB, FR, L, VV, N, M) Overt Christian, moral worldview with a presentation of the Gospel and a moment of forgiveness, prayer and reconciliation, marred by a Gnostic comment that the body stays in the ground and the soul lives in Heaven when the Christian view is the resurrection of the total person; two light obscenities; holdups, beatings, gunplay, shootings, implied branding of a person, but all done without excessive blood or violence; no sex scenes but marital kissing; upper male nudity; no drinking; no smoking; and, grave robbing, revenge.
REDEMPTION: FOR ROBBING THE DEAD follows the story of Henry Heath, a law officer in 1862 Salt Lake City. Henry finds himself responsible for the wellbeing of a prisoner he despises, an impoverished French immigrant named Jean Baptiste. Baptiste has been convicted of robbing the graves of the recently deceased. He’s exiled to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. Henry learns that, like he and his wife, Baptiste lost a child, a little girl, when he was young. With no one willing to look after Baptist, Henry becomes his sole defense against the hostile environment and the local community’s contempt.
REDEMPTION is a beautifully photographed movie with some terrific understated acting. It has a haunting, compelling score. Regrettably, it drags in the middle because the plot switches from capturing the grave robber to dealing with sins. However, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is clearly presented, despite some false Gnostic teaching about separation between the soul and the body. Also, prayer and forgiveness are extolled. Some judicious editing would make REDEMPTION much better.