Davo Hardy’s Independent Australian film – THE BLOOD OF GOD – takes on many social issues – faith vs. religion, prostitution, drug addiction, HIV, racism, and murder.
The core of the story revolves around a father/son relationship that is examined through devout – and extreme Christianity.
Euan is a 19 year old devout Christian living with his widowed father in a working-class housing project. He aspires to study classical music in the big city. When his assertion to live independently steers him into danger, one shocking moment of violence turns his life into a nightmare. Euan contracts a life-altering illness, forms a drug dependency and becomes the key suspect in a murder investigation, leading him to question his choices, his relationships and his belief in God.
Euan is the heart of the film. Richard Littlehales embodies the role with enormous heart and depth. Matias Klaver plays Euan’s dad Ted. Ethan Taylor is wonderful as Euan’s friend in need of prayers. Vicki Gard gives a memorable performance as Hazel. The film has some genuine moments.
Where the story lacked was in the writing. Also, cinematography shots (Bebi Zekirovski) felt basic in places. Sound also had issues. The core story and idea works well – it’s the delivery of it in the writing and other components to the film that doesn’t translate well.
Less is more is a perfect example of what could have made this film better. Too much dialogue in a film can take your interest away. So many times, it’s the unspoken moments in a scene that speak louder than words. For example when Euan finds out he has HIV, he goes crazy screaming and yelling in his room. What could have been more powerful is if Euan was seated on the bed with his father sitting next to him, he tells his father he has HIV, silence between the two actors working with this news and their emotions. The film also could have benefited from being shorter. The film comes in at 126mins 37 secs.
Another moment in the film that left questions is when the prostitute that Euan had been sleeping with is in a park – with her young husband and baby. As an audience member it didn’t make sense she would be part of a young married couple with a baby – while being a prostitute – and it wasn’t explained in the story – so it didn’t feel believable.
THE BLOOD OF GOD tries to tackle the hardships of life while exploring where God fits in during those journeys. Where does faith waiver or stay strong? How do we continue on with inflictions in life? All of these themes need to be explored – for Hardy – and for the rest of us.