Covenant Of Grace : A Film by Jon Garcia

The Falls Trilogy : Films by Jon Garcia

Part Three: COVENANT OF GRACE [2016]

Plot spoilers and some mildly explicit language

Of all the films in The Falls Trilogy, ‘Covenant of Grace’ is the most emotionally complex. It was not easy to deconstruct and analyse the film; but, nevertheless, it is one of the most rewarding, emotionally uplifting, engaging and cathartic experiences I have had, whilst watching the film (or any film, at that) many times, prior to, and during the writing of this tribute.

The ending of Ang Lee’s gay film romance ‘Brokeback Mountain’, left the participant devastated and without hope. Jon Garcia, gave us a long awaited, positive, and, I would say, realistic happy ending. In this third and final film, Jon Garcia’s manipulation of the viewer’s emotions is masterful and without mercy; except for the last few minutes of the story, which brings about catharsis of the best possible kind, because, after nearly six hours of heart-rending drama throughout the trilogy, with little relief from tension, he allows us to cry tears of joy.

The opening montage: a forest of frosty pine trees and a sun-kissed mountain peak at dawn is filmed from the air, whilst, on the soundtrack, Matt Alber’s passionate love song ‘The End Of The World’ conveys, in part, the present state of R J and Chris’s relationship.

The pastoral location is a surprise, but a relief, after the stark interiors of ‘Testament Of Love’. Once again, we’re on a roller coaster ride of emotions, similar to those in ‘Testament Of Love’, but this time we’re high up in the air, the pilots of gliders or angels on the wing. Our emotions soar in the anticipation of the couple rediscovering true happiness and oneness as we rise on warm air currents: then, with each obstruction they encounter along the road to unification, we hit a cold current, and experience the sudden, unexpected dive to danger, which begs the recurring question: Are R J and Chris going to make it, after all?

R J has shed his smartly tailored look and dresses mainly in sports wear, which compliments his out of doors fitness regime, although, in spite of the exercise he doesn’t look well. His body is in great shape, but his face is gaunt and his short beard growth accentuates this. His eyes seem to be dark hollows; so very telling of his loneliness and emptiness, for, still being apart from Chris, R J no longer looks for Chris from an apartment window on a busy street in Seattle, but from a mountain top, a solitary figure at the summit of his daily ritual. This is his look-out point but also his church. Since he lost his way, he has found his faith in nature and is fuelled by the elements and not by a book in a soulless mission house. The underlying passion (in the sensitivity of the writing, and feelings portrayed by the principal actors) which runs through this most affecting, and rewarding finale can be compared directly with the romantic masterpieces Jane Eyre, Rebecca and Brokeback Mountain. R J, (like Jane) in his hope to be permanently reunited with Chris, is patience and altruism personified. Chris has a tortured soul and mind, akin to that of Max De Winter and Ennis Del Mar: his guilt, like theirs, manifests as masochistic, self-indulgent pleasure by denying himself the one thing he craves the most, namely R J.

We are presented with another time lapse; this time of only one year, during which, Chris, has been on an ocean voyage of self discovery and is tying up the loose ends of his recent divorce from Emily. But, he is no closer to committing to R J because he has made a commitment, first and foremost, to the welfare and future of his daughter, Kaylee.

R J has moved to live and work in Portland Oregon. He has a small group of supportive friends who afford him some comfort, but he can not rest because his present link with Chris is delicate and R J has no way of knowing if they will interact comfortably after their year of separation. In the opening voice-over R J states, that both him and Chris have decided to put past differences behind them and begin anew. But, like the heroes and heroines of classic and modern classic romantic fiction, the past will not let them alone.

If R J and Chris are to come together and exist happily ever after, they will both need to make some drastic but realistic compromises: Chris more-so because he is the one who is less open to change; therefore the Chris we are presented with here, elicits far less sympathy from the viewer than in the previous two films. The overriding question throughout ‘Covenant Of Grace’ is: Is Chris capable of overcoming his fierce loyalty to the church and his personal stubbornness in the matter of moving to some middle ground with R J, where he can escape the strong holds the church and his father have over him, rid himself of guilt and shed some of his austere nature: loosen up and discover his ‘real’ self and ‘real life’?

R J and Chris are both damaged by past events, but R J is the freer of the two since his break with the church. Chris may be free of his marriage to Emily, but he is still very embedded in the church; very set in his ways and has the added responsibility of being there for his daughter, who is paramount (rightly so) in his life at this point. He will have lessons to learn and battles to win and concede in his personal growth as an ‘out’ gay man, before he can reach the place R J is now at. Unfortunately, Chris lacks the will to stand up to his father. And his stubborn refusal to compromise brings him into conflict with R J, which results in the deterioration of R J’s mental and physical health to such an extreme, that R J nearly gives up on Chris completely, and for good.

R J, has been living for one whole year in a state of limbo. Considering the lack of physical and emotional contact between him and Chris during that time, it is realistic that their telephone conversations are tense, formal and matter-of-fact. They are disconnected not only by the distance in road miles but by the separate and quite different lives they now lead. R J has reached a point where he can’t even say “I love you” over the phone. When R J forgets to hang up, Chris hears R J muttering to himself, stating “Why can’t I say, I love you, like any normal person?” R J voiced his frustration in ignorance and Chris is made insecure by it.

There are brief (maybe too few) shots of the airport terminal buildings seen from R J’s point of view while driving his car to pick up Chris. Matt Alber’s love song fades in again at this point and the words about flying and falling, juxtaposed with the shots of the overhead structures filmed by a moving camera at a strange angle, invoke in us, the very sensations of anticipation and excitement that R J is feeling, prior to seeing Chris again, in the flesh. Once more, I’m reminded of Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘VERTIGO’, by those off kilter shots. And, like Scottie in ‘VERTIGO’, R J is obsessed by Chris in his belief that they are meant for one-another. Scottie’s obsession was unhealthy and ultimately destructive, whereas R J wants to change Chris in the most positive sense; to win him back and liberate Chris from himself in the process. R J is determined to persevere with their unstable relationship and try to change this artificial, cold and distant version of (his muse) Chris, back to the sensual and real version he successfully and lovingly resurrected during their intense, soul-searching conversations and love-making at the motel in ‘Testament Of Love’.

R J’s home is simply furnished. The interior is definitely cosier and more inviting compared with the plainer, minimalist style that is typical of a Mormon house. A beautiful oil painting of an Archangel dominates the living room; an indication that religion still has a place in R J’s life.

There is something pathetic, yet endearing, in the way that R J prepares a simple snack of cheese and crackers for Chris after his long journey, instead of a big meal. It’s obvious that R J shops for one and perhaps hasn’t much imagination where food is concerned. R J’s previous partner, Paul, was a good cook and practised what he thought was the way to a man’s heart, by preparing proper ‘welcome home’ meals for R J, but Paul’s expertise as a cook has not influenced R J to do the same where Chris is concerned.

There’s a lovely moment when, after ‘loosening up’ with a few drinks, R J and Chris reveal their sexual encounters with others during their year apart.

They open up without shame or anger or self reproach. This is such a positive scene and very poignant in the spoken content about how (1) each of them understand their need for sex and the need for the relief it brings, and (2) there’s no reason for them both to feel like they’re bad people because of this. Then, there’s lightweight comedy, with R J counting down from five to zero before they remove their clothes and get their bodies ‘out in the open’. They resemble teenage youths on a camping trip having fun in the tent, but there is also a definite element of their younger selves, (bad Mormons) as they were in ‘The Falls’, experiencing sex for the first time. The moonlight filtering through the curtains creates a blue haze in the bedroom. Blue is the colour connected with their intimate scenes in ‘Covenant Of Grace’.

The following morning, the sight of Chris praying at the foot of the bed comes as a surprise to R J, who may have lapsed from his daily ritual of prayer. We, like R J, momentarily feel like intruders.

R J’s best friend, Edina, arrives like a great gust of fresh mountain air. She is a beautifully written character. Forthright, liberal, honest, loving: a ‘lip kisser’ who Chris warms to immediately due to her naturalness and lack of inhibitions. She’s also (setting aside she’s a lesbian) a very different kind of woman to those introverted and conservative types Chris is used to associating with.

There are eggs for breakfast but little else. Edina criticises R J, while Chris is present, for serving up such a mean breakfast for “the love of your (his) life”. In an effort to cover up his ineptitude, R J remarks, “that’s all I had”. The lacklustre meal is not the real issue here. The emphasis on how very much R J loves Chris, is the important message in Edina’s statement. This is not just a compliment on her part, but a gift, to give Chris reassurance, when he gets to meet his ‘rival’, Ryan.

Ryan is as unwelcome to Chris as a silent and deadly fart let loose in a room of people who are too polite to react and have no other choice but to tolerate it and keep on breathing. Like Elder Harris in ‘The Falls’, Ryan is conniving and mean spirited. The loneliness he feels after being forced to separate from the mission companion he loves, has made him gravitate towards R J. The similarity in R J and Ryan’s mission experiences and their disgrace has moved R J to act as Ryan’s protector. Ryan has attached himself to R J like a limpet to a rock, but his love for R J is misguided love on the rebound. Ryan is irked now that his bond with R J is threatened by the appearance of Chris on the scene: two was company; three’s a crowd and he wants Chris gone! Insecurity makes him behave unsociably towards Chris. Ryan’s attraction, is that of a shallow youth who revels in the attention given by the mature and handsome R J; in fact, he belongs to a younger generation and his crush, or hero-worship of R J leaves him with little conscience regarding his intervention (albeit small) between R J and Chris. R J may be a father figure and friend to Ryan but ultimately Ryan is vying for far more, and that is something R J is reluctant to surrender to.

Ryan is a newly qualified masseur with only one client; R J. His malicious innuendos about his hands-on experience fuels Chris’s jealousy of R J, and his dislike of Ryan. R J is sincere when he tells Ryan, within earshot of Chris, that he loves him, but it’s the love of a good and supportive friend or a responsible parent, and nothing more. However, this, “I love you”, is a slight, but deliberate, manipulation on R J’s part to anger Chris and get him to act, take control, stake his claim on R J and in doing so, reveal to R J just how strong his love for him still is: which is exactly what Chris does, expertly and timely.

There is beautifully written, sparse dialogue and action leading up to Chris taking the initiative to prove to R J that he does indeed love him. The love scene, which happens on R J’s sofa, is masterfully realised and the passivity and dominance is equalised in the way the act is filmed. We are shown just enough for us to know and imagine what R J and Chris are actually doing. Here is positive proof that the indication of a sexual act by minimising the viewpoint is far more effective and sensual an experience for an audience, than showing all. I think the visuals and dialogue within the love scenes in The Falls Trilogy would appeal not only to a completely L G B T Q audience but would sit comfortably with more mainstream audiences also. Men on the greyscale between 1 and 3 might find them challenging, but I don’t think they would be repelled by them. It is one of the most erotic and believable sex scenes I have ever watched on film. The connection between the men is nothing short of reality. The overall colour palette here is the blue of night-time, not neon red, as it was during their love-making in the motel in ‘Testament Of Love’.

We’re soaring skywards with them at this point, but … the next day, while hiking, their conversation turns into a heated argument about (1) R J’s reluctance to accompany Chris to mass at R J’s local church, and (2) the displacement of the children of same sex couples within the church. Suddenly, they are at odds with one-another. When Chris harshly states, that, maybe he’s with R J just because he feels obligated to him, R J collapses to the ground with asthma, induced by an anxiety attack. It seems like all hope for them is lost and we are left feeling like we’ve had the breath knocked out of us. Chris comforts R J while he recovers from his attack, but it seems clear that he hasn’t apologised to R J because, before they part at the airport, there is still tension between them.

Chris’s inane comment, “Well, back to real life”, is countered by R J’s reply that, “This is real life”. They’re both living their own separate versions of what they perceive to be real life and leaving us none the wiser as to whether the twain will ever meet. There is great timing in the cutting back and forth between R J and Chris holding back, until the very last second, the words that should be said, but by then, it’s too late. We want them to kiss and make up but, they’re lost for words.

When news of the death of Chris’s mother reaches R J, he is loyalty personified as he makes haste to be with Chris in Salt Lake City for the funeral: accompanied by his father, Elder Smith. Elder Smith knows that R J will be walking into a den of lions by himself, so his insistence that he attends, and his presence at the funeral, is all the more touching and reassuring to us that he has his son’s best interest and protection at heart. Elder Smith truly deserves the sincere hug of welcome, which Chris gives to him.

Deborah Merrill was a beautifully realised character and I missed her presence in ‘Covenant Of Grace’. Her death was necessary to the plot thereafter, but a shame nevertheless, that she had to be written out of the film. Chris was right in saying that she would have loved R J, and we know, given her supportive monologue to Chris at the conclusion of ‘Testament Of Love’, that she would have embraced R J into the family. But, with Deborah out of the scenario, Noah Merrill is made vulnerable without his wife at hand, and he now needs Chris as much as Chris needs his father. Where homosexuality is concerned, even the most broad-minded of fathers will struggle at first with the coming out of an offspring. Elder Merrill is intelligent and is not likely to reject Chris, whom he loves dearly, but, it will take time for him to become a role model father like Elder Smith.

R J’s second panic attack – with Chris to the rescue – is crucial to the conclusion of the story because, for the first time, Elder Merrill observes the genuine love and concern which Chris has for R J. So, at the all male family debate about the future of Chris and R J, Elder Merrill is made aware of the stalemate which Chris and R J now find themselves at, which brings about a shift in his perspective on same sex couples versus the church, and he begins to soften in their favour. There are no objections when Chris and R J hold each other in a long, loving embrace before parting. Elder Harris, surprisingly respectful and tolerant, leads Elder Smith away to give their sons some moments alone together and this is a sure indication that Elder Merrill has begun his journey of acceptance. Now that his accepting wife, Deborah, is departed, Noah Merrill must support Chris alone, and, since he stated to Chris at the conclusion of ‘Testament Of Love’, “I just want you to be happy”, he must learn from, and be influenced by, the bond he’s observed between R J and his father, and act accordingly.

Jon Garcia is an expert when it comes to creating an atmosphere which is tangible to an audience: one that they can feel, and R J and Elder Smith’s conversation in the hotel bedroom before they depart Salt Lake, is a fine example. The love, connection and understanding between father and son, is an emotional highlight, acted with quiet dignity. Elder Smith no longer hints at, but reveals that he is referring to himself when he, for the second time, tells R J of ‘someone’ he once knew, who struggled, in very much the same way that R J once did, but the ‘someone’ didn’t have the courage to come out. When R J realises that his father is actually coming out to him, he humbly asks, “Is he okay?” Elder Smith’s answer is in the affirmative. R J responds by kissing his father’s forehead, as though he is bestowing a blessing and we know that one day soon, they will both discuss this openly.

It is easy to understand why Ryan is so miserable and on a second downward spiral of drinking and partying, but, it doesn’t excuse him from trying to seduce R J, when R J is intoxicated. After the funeral, R J has left Chris in Salt Lake City and returned to Portland. His morale is low and so is his resistance to Ryan’s overtly sexual advance on him after a drunken night out at a gay club. It is right, and for the best, that R J diffuses the erotic (and potentially damaging for them both) moment and turns the situation around. He’s back to being the supportive friend whom Ryan needs to eventually steer him in the right direction: that of Ryan’s own true love, his disgraced mission companion, Jacob.

From here on, the question is, can R J and Chris find some middle ground; a positive compromise where they are in accord with each other and Elder Merrill. The viewer is being balanced on the same knife edge as R J, as to what the outcome will be.

The plotting is well structured. Noah Merrill engages with the televised gay pride march and begins to sympathise with Chris. The words of Owen Duff’s ‘Ukulele Song’ in this scene, reflect how ‘left out’ Chris feels, now that Ryan is in R J’s life. Upstairs; naked in the bath, Chris is caught in a state of limbo, with the church and family honour on one side and R J on the other. He looks lost, almost invisible: his skin nearly as white as the enamel tub and the clinical décor.

During an interview with the president of the quorum, Noah Merrill speaks openly, and honestly, about the change in his stance on gay rights. Noah’s speech is concisely written by Jon Garcia and gets right to the heart of the matter. Aimed at all religious leaders and all parents, regardless of whether they’re church-going or not, that discrimination of gays within the family, the church, or in general, must end. Noah has stopped trying to change Chris because he’s realised that Chris is, “fine the way he is”, and that making one of the faithful, like Chris, choose between the church or eternal damnation, is a contradiction of church doctrine, that we love one-another, whomsoever that ‘other’ might be.

While instructing Kaylee in the afterlife, Chris finds comfort and courage in the child’s matter-of-fact enquiry, “Will R J be there too?” By including R J in the heavenly family group, she is acknowledging R J, without question, as her parent, which in turn reminds Chris that his church wants to exclude the children of same sex parents from baptism and therefore, a place in heaven. His daughter’s innocent question motivates him to make a crucial and firm decision. He will not resist R J any longer. Chris wants the whole thing: R J, Kaylee and the church, but, if the church won’t recognise his daughter, Chris is prepared to go against the church and his father, if need be. My personal feeling is, at this point in the story, Chris decides he will ask for Elder Smith’s permission to marry R J.

Chris will definitely be rooted in Salt Lake for a further three years, having accepted an invitation to study law at a university there. In a heart-to-heart conversation with his father, Chris speaks openly of his ordeal in corrective therapy (between ‘The Falls’ and ‘Testament Of Love’) where he was told he would have to choose either God or (homosexual) love. He is appalled that the church damns him and his daughter. Noah admires Chris’s courage, and, furthermore, he admits that the love he witnessed between Chris and R J at Deborah’s funeral was equal to the love he and Deborah had shared. He is now on Chris’s side. Instead of admonishing Chris for his outburst, Noah Merrill vows to speak to the committee of elders, to see if he can sway them in favour of accepting same sex couples within his very conservative church.

R J is trying to reconnect with his faith by attending service.

Another pastoral scene: R J is running back from his lookout point. He arrives home to find Chris waiting for him. R J enters the house, ignoring Chris. Has R J had enough of Chris and deliberately blanking him? On entering the house himself, Chris is seized by R J, in what is a most unexpected and delightful kissing scene. R J, who is genuinely pleased to see Chris, and to have learned that Chris has been accepted into law school in Salt Lake City, drags him to the bedroom and onto the bed. The love scene is splendidly acted and edited. In a shimmering blue light, their lingering kisses are ‘meant’. It appears that they are so relaxed together for the first time in ages that they are as one. They completely adore one-another. There is no need for dialogue here: they speak volumes through their eyes, their kisses and their smiles. It is very uplifting and sad at the same time. Plaintive notes on a piano lend a feeling of complete calm to the atmosphere of the scene and also a sense of yearning. A manifestation perhaps of their internalised need for one-another. We feel their sense of release, and relief, and comfort …

The harmony and the pain that R J and Chris have experienced through the years is comparable with the same sex romance in the novel ‘Maurice’ by E M Forster.

Maurice, and his lover Clive, are continually kept apart by family obligations and Clive feels he’s unable to commit fully to Maurice from fear of discovery. Maurice is not afraid to take risks but Clive is, and he is constantly keeping Maurice at an arms length. Maurice becomes very ill because of his alienation, very much like R J does. Maurice needs to be with Clive all the time and he’s miserable, lonely and depressed in his isolation, in the same way R J is, when he’s without Chris. But, the times that Maurice and Clive do spend together as lovers, although brief, are idyllic, and they are in perfect harmony with one-another. There is the same sense of unimaginable bliss between R J and Chris.

a cut to post sex; the scene is sombre, the bedroom darkly lit, a deep, night-time blue. The lovers are opposites in temperament as well as appearance. R J is consoling and open compared with Chris who has bottled his grief to bursting point. The black facial hair of R J next to the pale copper of Chris and the pale glow of their almost translucent skin, lends the lovers a supernatural quality. The mood becomes serious again. Chris finds catharsis in R J’s arms, finally weeping for the loss of his mother. His face resembles an ancient Greek theatrical mask of tragedy.

Noah Merrill is dressing meticulously, as if he were going to his own execution. The image of him entering the quorum chamber and looking down from the gallery before descending, is identical to the way in which King Charles I of England approached his place of execution. King Charles I descended a staircase in Whitehall where his enemies, the puritan members of parliament waited, to witness his execution. The garb of the puritan is severe, black and white, and conservative, like the suited quorum members waiting for Noah Merrill (who is to undergo a bitter disappointment at the hands of his puritanical brothers) to descend. It is a fait accompli. They’ve already made up their minds about where they stand on the subject of gays and same sex marriage within the Mormon church. By altering his stance, Noah Merrill is hardly a traitor to the church, but his support of Chris may be looked upon suspiciously, even with derision, and he will be perceived as the weak link in the quorum chamber, where unity and solidarity is paramount.

The camera follows a youth, belly-riding his a roller board. We are led by him through a crowd of people at the street market, towards Chris and R J. Personally, they are in a stronger and more positive place. They are, for the very first time, ‘out’ in public, holding hands for all the world to see. This is the first sign of Chris’s personal gay liberation and he’s moving towards R J now, and not away from him. They walk, unafraid, amongst a friendly crowd. There may well be other gay couples there, but Chris and R J stand out as the most obvious and they are enjoying every second of being an out and proud gay couple.

Chris has a pleasant surprise in store. His father has had his proposal rejected by the quorum, but, heedless of their decision, he bestows his personal blessing on Chris and gives him permission to pursue a happy life with R J.

R J and Chris are in the bedroom. R J is seated, nervously watching as Chris packs his bags prior to leaving for the airport. Chris is anxious about getting to the airport on time. R J is anxious because Chris is leaving him again and he doesn’t know when he will next see Chris. The mood is blue and the room is lit with the blue of sadness. These moments before the lovers say goodbye until the next time, are devastating. Nick Ferrucci expertly conveys R J’s struggle to keep his emotions under control, but his pain is too great. He can not tolerate living apart from Chris any longer. His honest declaration of how he has prayed for strength to let Chris go for good, is heartbreaking. R J doesn’t really want that to happen, neither do we; and we become afraid at this point, that Chris is quite possibly going to lose R J forever; but, there are two surprises in store for us, comprising as one for each of them.

The first surprise solution is: R J admits that, in spite of how the church stands regarding same sex relationships, he can’t live without the church when Chris is so involved in it. It’s a small compromise on the part of R J because although he has, at times, doubted his faith, he has never totally given up on it. The larger compromise is that he will have to leave Portland, a city which he has felt at one with, and move to Salt Lake City, but, these are worthwhile compromises because he wants it all. To embrace his religion completely, at the hopeful, new beginning, of a lifelong journey with Chris and Kaylee.

The second surprise is uplifting: like the conclusion of one of Douglas Sirk’s romantic melodramas. Though there is nothing melodramatic, in the sincere and humble way in which Chris asks for R J’s hand in marriage. The proposal is a healing balm from Chris to an ailing R J, which will restore R J’s good health and bring equilibrium back to the relationship. There was a similar scene in ‘The Falls’, only this time, Chris is metaphorically applying the soothing ice-pack to R J’s bruised hand when (on one knee, as in ‘The Falls’) he takes R J’s hand in his own and proposes.

Chris is no longer stuck in the mire. He reveals to an unsuspecting R J that he has been proactive and asked Elder Smith for his permission to marry his son. They express, through tears, their innermost feelings of love for one another and Chris’s vow never to leave R J again is the rewarding finale we’ve all been waiting for. The inclusion of a touch of light comedy relief, when Chris says he has a plane to catch, and R J replies that Chris has just promised he would never leave him again, is well placed, and enough to have us smiling through tears of joy. The R J dead-pan sense of humour we loved in ‘The Falls’ is re-emerging: the comedian will soon bring the fun and laughter they so desperately need, back into their lives. This one last parting is okay because we know that Chris has made his commitment to R J, and R J will soon be following on to join Chris in their new home.

Chris and R J’s wedding might seem like a pastiche of fantasy and reality and have been added just to please the audience, if it weren’t for the fact that, structurally, the exterior of the church building doesn’t resemble a typical Mormon church. The sealer then, may very well be a ‘rebel’ Mormon preacher, or an apostate, who has been engaged to conduct the service in a non-Mormon church that is not in opposition to same sex marriage. A Mormon wedding service with all the trappings of an official Mormon wedding, except that in the eyes of the church, the marriage of R J and Chris will not be legally recognised, but frankly … we don’t give a damn!

The reality, for the present, is a compromise. In a mock Mormon marriage ceremony they become united as husbands, in a civil partnership only. This will have to suffice for Chris and R J until the temple leaders are swayed to legalise gay marriage within the Mormon church.

There is a cunningly placed scene inserted in the end credits, of Ryan, on the road to see Jacob. History is repeating itself! The postcards from Jacob to Ryan, occupying the passenger seat are a pleasant reminder of the ending of ‘The Falls’ and a sure message to other gay Mormons watching, to do likewise: get out there, follow your heart and natural instincts, find love and enjoy a happy life, be that with or without the church. The Falls Trilogy contains such positive powerful imagery; fine believable acting and solid writing with strong, well aimed messages. (I can not find the words to adequately express the overall effect the films have had on me, personally.) The collaborative effort of everyone involved, and the result is astounding. The films radiate Jon Garcia’s passion for the subject matter and the characters he has created. They speak plainly and powerfully on the subject of love, commitment and equality. They have had, and will continue to have universal appeal and hopefully lead to a better understanding, within the non L G B T Q community, of the basic human rights of L G B T Q people. This is one of the greatest romances written for the silver screen, so far. Whether viewed independently or as a trilogy, they can not fail to become the leading films of their kind to touch the lives of countless millions that have already made the journey, and give courage and be a guiding light to those that have the same journey to make, regardless of age, race, gender, or faith.

Copyright © Russell Liney 2019

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