Charles Chestnutt said, “The workings of the human heart are the profoundest mystery of the universe. One moment they make us despair of our kind, and the next we see in them the reflection of the divine image”.
These words are probably an apt description of the new cinematic story/documentary called the ‘Heart of Man’ that can be seen in Australian cinemas this coming Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 June.
‘Heart of Man Promo’
When I first saw this film at a pre-screening, I wondered whether it would be too much for my faithful Dads4Kids readers to take in. The movie, at is core is really about fatherhood but it deals with some pretty hard issues and it is also deeply spiritual. It is not a Sunday school picnic by any means and the M rating is well deserved.
I guess it is the brutal reality of the cinematography that highlights the ‘one moment the workings of the human heart make us despair of our kind’. Such thoughts are rarely faced honestly in movies and when they truly are, they can be very confronting.
Having said that, the Heart of Man movies is a profound study of the issues of the heart in the light of the last part of Charles Chestnutt’s quote about the workings of the human heart. The next moment we see in the working of the human heart ‘the reflection of the divine image’.
In 2003, when Dads4Kids was constructing our 12 Pt Plan for men and fathers, the Dads4Kids team gathered together many different streams of the men’s movement to hammer out an agreement on the best way forward for our children and the families of Australia.
We were dealing with many different groups and many diverse viewpoints. Dads4Kids is a faith-based charity but some of the groups were more strongly secular than us and others were totally atheistic. It was an interesting challenge to say the least to get agreement on the document.
As someone who subscribes to the belief as Sting said, “We are spirits in a material world”, I wanted to include the words in the preamble of the 12 Pt Plan that, “fatherlessness is a natural and spiritual problem”. I went to one of the guys who ran a much more overtly Christian organisation than Dads4Kids and he said ‘no’ to that wording being included.
I went to another friend who ran the Sydney Men’s Network, a self-identified atheist and, to my surprise, he said ‘yes’, include those words! Sometimes atheists have more perception about spiritual reality than Christians. If you go along to see the Heart of Man with the same foresight that my atheist friend had, you will enjoy it.
Jordan Peterson, who is probably now the world’s leading public intellectual. Whilst not a person of typical Christian faith, he has a strong conviction about the need to recognise spiritual realities in an increasingly faithless world. In a recent video interview report on Life Site News, he had this to say:
“What I’ve been trying to do is point out the psychological utility of some of these more traditional beliefs, especially the corpus of Judeo-Christian beliefs,” he told Grassechi. “I think we need a revamping of our understanding of the relationship between the fundamental religious presuppositions of our society and our political and economic institutions.
I think we need to understand how they’re related more fundamentally, because I see the entire doctrine of individual sovereignty and individual rights as a logical extension of the Judeo-Christian notion that there’s a spark of divinity that characterizes each individual person, that we’re made in the image of God. That’s the metaphysical presupposition. I think those metaphysical presuppositions are unbelievably important and primary.”
The Heart of Man movie is a very difficult movie to describe or comprehend because it keeps jumping out of the box. Perhaps the words describing it on the website are the most apt:
“The Heart of Man is a cinematic retelling of the parable of the Prodigal Son, intertwined with contemporary and poignant true testimonies of personal and sexual brokenness. These two genres are combined as never before to reveal the compassionate heart of God the father for his sons and daughters illuminating an age-old truth: Shame is not a barrier to God’s love, but a bridge to absolute transformation, victory, freedom and hope.
The film features emotional interviews with real people going through their mess and subsequent healing, and includes expert witnesses of such men as William Paul Young, author of the NY Times best-selling novel “The Shack”, Dan Allender, Ph.D, author of “The Wounded Heart” and Spoken Word Artist Jackie Hill Perry. All of that is interwoven with a production-rich “prodigal son” narrative story shot in Hawaii.”
My goal in writing about the Heart of Man is to be as honest as I can possibly be, and not oversell it, or disguise its content. Having said that I agree with Nick Vujicic, motivational speaker from ‘Life Without Limbs’, when he says, “This is a movie that every man and woman should watch’.
I think I have told you enough. It’s your call!
The Heart of Man can be seen in cinemas this coming Tuesday 26 and Wednesday 27 June. Book ahead to avoid disappointment. It only has a limited run in the cinemas, so it is a small window, but one window worth opening as a man!
Hope you find the Heart of Man inspiring.
Love to hear what you think?
Yours for men with the Fathers heart
PS: Good News – we have extended the Early Bird Registration until midnight, Sunday 1st July for the Men’s Leadership Summit, 17 – 19 August at Stanwell Tops near Sydney. “As iron sharpens iron so does the face of a man’s friend”. We need each other to stay sharp. Opportunities like this don’t come up very often. That’s why you have to grab them with both hands when they do. Watch the promo video here to get the full picture. Check out all the information at this link or scroll down to News & Info. Save yourself $40 with early bird registration and make your BOOKING HERE.
PS2: Thanks to all those who listened in to the ‘Positive Change for Our Children’ Webinar last Thursday. It featured four great Dads: Dr Allan Meyer, author of Valiant Man, Brian Molitor, USA author of Boy’s Passage Man’s Journey, John Anderson, former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Ryan Milne, Good to Great Trainer. Listen to the webinar here.
During the Webinar Dads4Kids announced that dedicated donors have put up $27,000 in matching grant funds. If matched by Thursday 28 June your donations will double in size to $54,000.
Every donation doubles. To make a Tax Deductible donation to Dads4Kids, a Harm Prevention Charity, please DONATE HERE.
Warwick Marsh has been married to Alison Marsh since 1975; they have five children and nine grandchildren, and he and his wife live in Wollongong in NSW, Australia. He is a family and faith advocate, social reformer, musician, TV producer, writer and public speaker.
Warwick is a leader in the Men’s and Family Movement, and he is well-known in Australia for his advocacy for children, marriage, manhood, family, fatherhood and faith. Warwick is passionate to encourage men to be great fathers and to know the greatest Father of all. The Father in Whom “there is no shadow of turning.”
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.