Film festivals are one of my favorite ways to discover new movies. First, the festival announces the official selections and I check out their trailers and social media. Then I look at the schedule and determine which films I’ll watch at that festival. Since the festival circuit is relatively small, we often find ourselves competing with the same films in multiple festivals and oftentimes it takes awhile before we’re able to see certain movies. GloryReelz is actually the third festival we’ve been in with The Last Appeal, but the first opportunity we’ve had to watch it. It was well worth the wait!
The Last Appeal is the story of five inmates on death row. While the focus is on one of those prisoners, Titus Freeman, this truly is an ensemble cast and every single member of the cast is strong.
The Last Appeal is a little different in that it’s a stage play on film. Eastern Sky Theater, a Los Angeles based theater company, tours the show around the country performing at churches, prisons, and community events. At first, it takes some adjusting when you realize all the scenes take place on a stage instead of location. But then as you continue watching, you no longer notice. The story takes center stage and consumes your attention. The simple sets and dramatic lighting add to the intensity of the drama.
It’s been days since I watched The Last Appeal, but I can’t stop thinking about it. The story is one of the most gripping evangelistic messages I’ve seen. It unapologetically shares the gospel in a powerful and dramatic way. Every detail is well thought out and perfectly executed. The intensely harsh lighting, the artistically shot framing, the realistically diverse casting, the brilliantly sharp dialogue, it all works together to share the message of God’s love for us in a uniquely personal way.
If you get a chance to watch the stage production or view the movie, I would highly recommend it!