“The Pastor” is both a dramatic character study and an inspirational parable that has audiences rooting for the underdog. Set in Brooklyn, New York, a former gang leader ends up in solitary confinement, where he discovers his faith in God. He finds his true purpose as an ordained Pastor, after being released on parole and he seeks out the underprivileged youth of his predominantly Hispanic community so that they may find an alternative path to the dangerous gang lifestyle so rampant around them. As turf wars heat up between the two most prominent gangs, one gang leader targets the Pastor’s new mission and community – the church is vandalized, his life is threatened and his estranged wife is kidnapped. Fighting his inner demons, the Pastor must decide between maintaining his new-found faith or returning to his past.
“The Pastor” is not your typical faith-based film, as it deals with gang violence and a former gang leader who becomes a pastor after his release from prison. It features a few bloody scenes, including some of a man having his tattoos removed, as well as a lot of blood on a man’s hands following a fight.
The pastor is from Brooklyn, and after surviving a knife attack in prison, he eventually is freed after eight years and becomes the pastor of a church that is targeted by a gang. The church is vandalized, and a boy is even murdered. When the pastor’s own child and his estranged wife are kidnapped, he struggles with a battle to maintain his Christian faith or to fight back against the man responsible.
This is a gritty film with much of the action involving the streets or gang members and their threats. It is a bit grim but offers hope with a happy ending. We are awarding it our “Faith-Based” Seal (meaning there is some objectionable content in it), but the faith of the pastor shines through the film.