Higher Ground will have limited appeal to those interested in how room for doubt and exploring the nature of faith is accommodated or otherwise within the boundaries of family life confined by fundamentalist brands of evangelical Christianity, All characters are portrayed sympathetically, even those who portray the most obviously flawed expressions of their faith. This does not necessarily reflect badly on this particular brand of the Church, for any part of the Church where power trumps service would come off the same way. When religious faith is used primarily for comfort and security, one still has to meet the vicissitudes that life and relationship strew in the pilgrim’s path. The focus of this film is on one person’s journey, helpfully bookmarked throughout the screenplay by such titles as “Summons”, “Consumed” and “Wilderness”.
It had particular interest for me who, from time to time, engages with others in formal spiritual direction to explore the very kinds of questions this film raises. Others may respond as the only other patron in the session I attended this morning – yawning loudly and walking out half way through! (Showing at the Paradiso, Northbridge)