Limited Theatrical Release – A true story of conflict and compassion, Redemption follows the story of Henry Heath, a lawman on the western frontier in 1862. After the grieving sheriff buries his only child, he learns that Jean Baptiste, an impoverished French immigrant, has been robbing the graves of the recently deceased. Torn between duty, outrage, and guilt about his own past, Heath becomes Baptiste’s only defense against the bloodthirsty contempt of the community and the brutal isolation of the inhospitable Antelope Island where Baptiste has been exiled. Through his reluctant service, Heath is forced to examine his own beliefs about mercy, justice, and redemption. Can Heath show compassion and forgiveness toward the man who seems the least deserving of Christian love?
The title of the movie is well chosen. Based on a true story, Jean Baptiste, a poor French immigrant, robs the graves of recently deceased people. The local sheriff, Henry Heath (wonderfully played by newcomer John Freeman), is grieving as his young daughter recently died. He is as upset as anyone with Baptiste but when Baptiste is banished to an island to serve out his sentence, it is Sheriff Heath who insists in treating the prisoner fairly. He takes food and provisions to the prisoner on a boat and warns that others who try to make their way to the island to kill Baptiste will suffer the consequences. His kindness comes back to him when Baptiste himself begins to change as he reflects on the past, admits his sin, and it is Baptiste who encourages the sheriff that his daughter’s body and clothes may be in the ground, but her soul is with Jesus.
This powerful story contains a few intense scenes and a sophisticated topic so we are awarding it our Dove Seal for ages twelve and up. This story is unique and powerful and worth watching for sure. Featured actors are Margot Kidder, Barry Corbin, Rance Howard and Jon Gries.