The Heart of Texas
by Phil Boatwright

Produced and directed by Emmy winners Blake Pilgreen and Mitchell Wright, this new to DVD documentary addresses loss and redemption. And here’s why you should see it…

Every so often a movie comes along that, despite it melancholic subject matter, profoundly affects the viewer. By film’s end, one is uplifted and enriched by having viewed it even though it unnerved our senses or tweaked submerged feelings. The Passion of the Christ, Tsotsi, Dead Man Walking, each subjected us to the cruelties of man, but eventually reflected the positive possibilities of the human soul. The Heart of Texas shares those same characteristics. It deals with great sadness, but then reveals goodness rising from the ashes of unfathomable wrong.

This compelling documentary concerns two families, one white, one black, sharing an anguishing misfortune. The two patriarchs have become dear friends, the brotherly relationship extending throughout their entire families. But one fateful night, the 4-year-old daughter of one man is accidentally struck down by a motorist. The unbelievable part – the death of the child has been caused by the man’s friend. Amazingly, out of this horror comes a triumphant grace, one that touches an entire community. And now, thanks to the story being recounted on camera, many outside this small Texas town will be touched by their story of anguish and redemption.

Last year I suffered through Bill Maher’s smirky Religulous, saddened that the comedian never seemed to share time in his personal life with devout people who put Christ’s teachings into practice. After viewing the healing, supernatural process depicted in The Heart of Texas, I wished Mr. Maher and others struggling with the question “Is there a God?” could come face to face with those who find strength through faith despite life-altering travails.

Now, if you are anything like me, the last thing you want to view on a Friday night is a documentary about the death of a small child. In my case, I lost my sister when she was three and I ten. Forty years later, my family struggled with the lost of another three-year-old angel. Devastating is too shallow a word, but there is none in the English language that encapsulates the daily despair those who suffer such a loss undergo and must live with for the rest of their lives. So, as you can imagine, I did not want to sit through this film. But, oh how grateful I am that I didn’t hit the stop button on my DVD machine. I stuck it out, having to wipe tears from my eyes several times. To my astonishment, the Lord used this documentary to help heal a wound I have lived with since my sweet sister left us, the memory of an angry moment most siblings can relate to during the growing up years.

The film addresses the guilt one goes through. Relatives either feel responsible, that somehow they could have prevented the death. Or, they flog themselves daily, wishing they hadn’t said a hateful comment, one the deceased is no longer troubled by, but the offender lugs around year after year.

I’m not clear about the film’s title. The spiritual journey shared in this documentary has more to do with the state of mine of any resident on this planet Earth than just the dwellers of the Lone Star State. Perhaps the title is symbolic. There’s something bigger than the foibles and negatives of humankind. Maybe the vastness of the state of Texas represents the enormity of God’s dimension, His ability to raise love out of death’s tomb. Whatever the title’s purpose, it’s a film that delves into the deepest well, the only one that contains the healing waters of God’s love.

By viewing this film, you’ll be confronted with the need to seek spiritual growth. You’ll realize that we can all be buoyed by God’s Word, if we are disciplined in its study. You’ll be grateful and encouraged that indeed God is there and a purpose is fulfilled through each and every life. As King David came through his darkest valleys, we too can discover green pastures and still waters. I think viewers of The Heart of Texas will be moved, reminded of their own griefs, but then blessed and comforted.

For further information about The Heart of Texas and where to get a copy, go to: www.heartoftexasthemovie.com.