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Little Movie Makes Big Waves
Healing River Becomes Top-Rated Independent Faith-Based Film on Amazon
It’s no secret that Christian movies are often eschewed by Hollywood and reviewers – they’ve developed a reputation for being cheesy or unbelievable. So when an independent drama out of Cincinnati debuted on Amazon Video, it wasn’t exactly given the red carpet treatment that their violent and sarcastic commercial entities, such as The Boys, tend to get.
Despite its enthusiastic response at film festivals – garnering fourteen nominations and four awards – Healing River appeared with little fanfare, but it quickly began to garner awareness and praise as one of the best Christian movies on Amazon. The reviews started pouring in:
“This film provides a powerful and accurate picture of the power of forgiveness and mercy. And it does so while avoiding tropes common to religious films.”
“This movie will be moving to both the secular and the spiritual parts of the brain.”
“Great story, great music, great acting and directing. It made me think, made me cry, and left me filled with joy. It doesn’t get much better than that!”
That was music to the ears of the film’s writer and director, Mitch Teemley, who says he had multiple goals for Healing River. Beyond crafting a great story to serve as entertainment, he hopes “it compels people to take practical, courageous steps toward healing our broken world.
“That begins, I believe, with the act of forgiveness,” Teemley says, hitting on one of the key themes of the movie. “And when we pursue forgiveness, we can all become conduits of God’s grace.”
This powerful theme seems to have struck a chord with audiences: by July, it was being viewed by over 1,000 people a day. Now, at 4.7 out of 5 stars, it has the highest rating of any independent faith-based film in Amazon’s vast catalogue. And that doesn’t go unnoticed by the tech giant. It was enough to trigger entry into their recommendation system – the incredibly successful algorithm that determines what it thinks you’ll like based on your past viewing choices. Which means that this “must-see” will be able to touch that many more hearts and may open the door for more films like it in the future.