Free in Deed

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USA | 2015 | 98 minutes | Jake Mahaffy

September 12, 2017

This provocative drama, winner of Best Film in the Horizons competition at the Venice International Film Festival, takes place in the rarely seen world of Memphis' storefront churches, where a single mother and a faith healer struggle to cure her autistic son.

Melva (Edwina Findley), a single mother living in Memphis struggles to raise her two children, especially the autism-struck Benny (newcomer RaJay Chandler). His uncontrollable, violent outbursts get him tossed out of school, baffle doctors, and threaten to tear the family apart. Melva's only solace is in a Pentecostal basement church, which, though sparsely attended, presents rousing sermons courtesy of Bishop (Preston Shannon). Also in attendance is Abe (David Harewood), a desperate believer who fancies himself something of a faith healer. Based on actual events, this is a harrowing condemnation of a society that fails its citizens with false promises—socially, institutionally, religiously—and the lengths people go for salvation.

  • Director: Jake Mahaffy
  • Principal Cast: David Harewood, Edwina Findley, Kathy Smith, Rajay Chandler, Preston Shannon
  • Country: USA, New Zealand
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 98 minutes
  • Producer: Mike Bowes, Mike S. Ryan, Brent Stiefel
  • Screenplay: Jake Mahaffy
  • Cinematographers: Ava Berkofsky
  • Editors: Jake Mahaffy, Michael Taylor
  • Music: Tim Oxton
  • Website: Official Film Website