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Based on the true story of notorious grave-robber Jean Baptiste, Redemption follows Sheriff Henry Heath on the western frontier in 1862. Heath has just buried his only child when he's assigned custody of Baptiste, an impoverished French immigrant who has robbed 300 graves of the recently deceased. Torn between his duty to the law and his own prejudice for his prisoner, Heath becomes Baptiste's only defense against the bloodthirsty contempt of the community and the brutal isolation of the inhospitable Antelope Island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake where Baptiste has been exiled.
A story about the struggle to show compassion to those who seem the least deserving of Christian love, Redemption follows Henry Heath's fight to keep a marked man alive and put aside his personal feelings to examine his beliefs about mercy, justice, and redemption.
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Writer: Tom Russell
Director: Tom Russell
Producer: Courtney Russell
Runtime: 110 min.
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.
Sex: Kissing between a husband and wife; it is stated that a governor made inappropriate advances toward a woman.
Language: H-1; Idiot-1; Stupid-1; Jackass-1; Fool-1; Man says another man cursed him.
Violence: A man is pulled from a coach and it is later stated he was badly beaten; an exchange of gun fire and a man is killed and his corpse is seen lying in repose; people want to take the law into their own hands and state a prisoner should hang; two men exchange gun fire and a man's hat is hit and knocked off his head; a man is seen throwing an ax at another man and the man shoots the man who threw the ax; a beat up man has a black eye; a man twice punches another; man has a bloody ear and cauterizes the wound himself.
Nudity: A few scenes of a shirtless man.
Other: A man robs graves and is seen lifting a casket out of the ground; a man questions the love of God and believes God has forsaken his family and placed his wrongs on his daughter who died but another man helps him realize that his hope actually lies in God alone; the death of a few characters and grief; a suit was bought for a man's funeral but his brother says he was buried naked as his clothes were stolen; "For robbing the dead" has been marked into a man's forehead; a man spits in a few scenes; in an inspirational scene a man who had doubted God prays at a memorial service.