A ravine is a landform of depth and steep walls, narrower than a canyon and larger than a gully. In the upcoming movie, The Ravine, it is the site and symbol of tragedy, grief, anger, deep sadness, evil spirits, mental agony, and torture. Each of us understands these things on some level. Kansas City producers, Robert and Kelly Pascuzzi, focusing on an unexpected and harrowing encounter in their lives, peer into the ravine from which they initially think there is no escape. But on the edge, they take a long and loving look at key relationships with one another, God, and those they love; there they eventually gain valuable insight into life’s purpose, personal meaning, and divine providence. They invite us to gaze at our own toughest challenges in life so that we, too, can rediscover the importance of faith, family, and friendships, both on earth and in heaven.
Published as a novel in 2014, the story is based on the shocking double homicide-suicide of Robert’s and Kelly’s best friends. This horrific experience shattered their community and tore at their soul. The spiritual agony they endured because of it became a spiritual ravine from which they could not climb out until they painstakingly accepted a divine message carried by an emissary of God. The novel has been adapted into a movie that will premiere on Easter weekend in the hometown of the author and producers at B&B theatres from Overland Park to Liberty. It aligns well with our Christian message of Holy Week as we are beckoned to deeply contemplate the passion, death, and resurrection of our Lord.
As the film’s characters grapple with gut-wrenching horrors, sobering realities, frightening thoughts, and dark chambers of their own humanity, they pursue paths out of the deep hole in which they flounder. Viewers can quickly relate our own pain—whether the vast current challenges of Covid-19 or a specific life-changing terror from our past. Though our human instinct is to push away devastating memories, our Christian challenge is to imitate Christ, who faced demons and accepted the rugged and unbearable cross, trusting that the burden would lead to blessing and the crucifixion would open a way for resurrection. Similar to how Mel Gibson’s 2004 movie, The Passion of the Christ, riveted our gaze upon something very difficult to behold, The Ravine compels us to grope inside a dark emotional tunnel that will, at long last, offer a flicker of light leading us beyond despair to renewed hope. Watching this film might be a great way for you to reflect upon these holiest days of the ecclesial year and gain inspiration along your spiritual journey.
I know that life is difficult for every person. As each of us endures setbacks at one time or another, we recognize that part of our task as God’s people is to help each other through them. This is a story about relationships. It will help us lean on those we love when we need to and hold them up when it is their turn to falter; and it will open our wise hearts to God’s messengers dwelling among us. It might even propel us to be messengers of His good news for others.
To view the movie trailer click here and to order tickets for the premier showing of The Ravine click here. If you are interested in joining me for a discussion group in early or mid-April after viewing the film, contact me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.