Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paradise Recovered

I wish I'd gotten something about this film up weeks ago - but life ever so rudely interrupts.

I don't really do reviews here - which in this case is good, because on a scale of 1 to 10, I've give this film somewhere around a 20. I'd consider it, along with Quivering Daughters, to be an essential resource in educating about spiritual abuse, particularly as it pertains to the specific movements discussed here.

The primary character, Esther, is a spot-on illustration of a person rendered something less than a person by a belief system, her life dictated by the whims of a patriarchal religious tyrant, lived within the parameters of rigid religious rules, paralyzed by her own religious addictions. Afraid to live, in many ways, for fear of the response of her religious leaders, and even worse, the response of God. Her journey to freedom is written and acted beautifully.

My favorite line in the film comes from the male lead, Gabriel, in response to a question from Esther...

"I didn't leave the truth of the church. I left the culture of the church.

How accurate is this story? Accurate enough that a couple of years ago it would've been difficult for me to watch. The story is powerful, and if you've been a part of or heavily brushed by any of these movements, you'll have an ample supply of "I've seen that!' and "I've lived that!" moments.

Well done, Andie. Well done.

Visit the film's web page HERE, and its IMDb page HERE.

If you're interested in purchasing the DVD, you can find links to do so on the film's web page above, or you can visit Amazon HERE.


  1. I've not heard of this film but it looks interesting. From the cover photo, I'm pretty sure that woman is wearing my old jumper. :)

  2. Through this story we see what freedom to believe really means and how easily our thinking can be pressed down to someone else's thoughts until all we have is fear. The best way to live is to not let our fears drive us. You will come to know and love the characters of this story and as you do you will realize that someone of them is so much like you!

  3. What a beautiful movie! I watched it last night and, oh, what an emotional experience - I actually started crying when she tried on her first normal clothes and looked at herself in the mirror. I will never stop savoring the sensation of being one of the crowd, of being a normal person!

  4. I want it to be streaming on netflix. ;) will be checking youtube in case, but bet that's not copyright correct. Thanks for review!

  5. The movie is streaming on Netflix now. I watched it today after seeing your review. Wow, it hit close to home! I didn't believe everything that the girl in the movie did but that same environment of trying to serve a demanding and angry God - I'm so glad I don't see Him that way again.

    Oh and Rebecca, I completely agree with you about that moment when she's standing in front of the mirror in normal clothing. I remember doing the exact same thing - trying on my first pair of jeans and standing in front of the mirror, deciding if I had enough courage to walk out of my room in them.

    I think it's a great movie to share with others who may not understand what it's like to grow up in a fundamentalist environment. I definitely plan to share it with several people who may not completely "get" where I came from.

  6. The movie has a FB page ... https://www.facebook.com/paradiserecovered/posts/415482858514111?ref=notif&notif_t=share_reply

  7. Just wanted to let you know that this video is available on netflix instant streaming.