HEALING (movie)

At the tail end of a 16-year sentence, an inmate is sent to a low-security, pre-release prison with a special program that pairs men with injured game birds.

HEALING is a beautiful and touching story that is truly uplifting. The way injured birds on their journey of rehabilitation to fly is superbly used as a metaphor for the healing that comes to the inmates of a low security prison preparing for their own “flights” back to society. The tender story directed, with elegant subtlety, weaves together complex characters all of whom are on their varied journeys from psychological injury resulting from their past crimes to different degrees of freedom or permanent sanctuary – mirrored in the stories of the birds. The birds photographed in flight against the backdrop of Australian landscapes are stunning and healing in their own right. The story unfolds at a meditative pace allowing us to connect with the characters, the birds, and the relationship between the humans and birds’ parallel stories. HEALING has a lot to tell us about dealing with the past, fractured relationships, power and control, freedom and the fear of freedom, and the vulnerability of those in our society whose wings have been damaged by their circumstances. There are a number of standout performances from the lead actors. The soundtrack is beautiful and liberating. The running time is a little longer than it needs to be and is my only criticism. But that is insignificant when placed beside all that is good about this movie. HEALING needs to be seen on the big screen for the full effect of it’s soaring cinematography. Highly recommended.

overall=**** ; acting=***1/2 ; story=****1/2 ; humour=***1/2 ; soundtrack=**** ; cinematography=****1/2 ; directing=***1/2