The Blind Parent Guide
This Christian film tells a heartfelt story of family, faith and redemption.
Parent Movie Review
A drunk walks into a bar and decides to buy it as a way to curb his drinking and spend more time with his kids. No, this isn’t the beginning of a bad joke: it’s just one chapter in the life of Phil Robertson, later to become the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family.
Born into poverty in Louisiana, young Phil (Ronan Carroll) spends his childhood hunting to put food on the table while his father works on the oil rigs and his mother is repeatedly hospitalized for mental illness. He gains detailed knowledge of the woods and feels most truly at home there – a feeling that haunts him in university and while working after graduation. Despite his marriage to the devoted Miss Kay (Amelia Eve), Phil (now played by Aron von Andrian) remains restless. He struggles to focus on his teaching job and spends as much time as possible on the river and in the woods. Soon, Phil is drinking heavily which leads to unemployment, gambling, domestic violence, and neglect of his family as his life spirals ever closer to rock bottom.
Everyone watching this movie knows that Phil is going to hit a place of total despair soon – and he does. The real question is how long will he stay there and what is going to get him back up again?
The answer is in the movie’s name, which has a twofold meaning. First, it refers to a duck blind, a camouflaged shelter used by hunters so they will be less visible to their targets. Second, it refers to Phil’s own blindness regarding his life, specifically his spiritual blindness. When he experiences a religious conversion and returns to his outdoor roots, Phil finds hope, inspiration, and a clearer vision for supporting his family.
Regular readers of this website know that I frequently bemoan the quality of Christian films, but I don’t need to complain as much with this one. Yes, the frame narrative is wooden, the acting is occasionally flat, and the dialogue isn’t always believable, but this movie has heart and lacks the “plastic” feeling that is usually part of movies-with-a-message. Evangelical Christians will appreciate this representation of their faith and other Christians will find resonance too. Even if you’re not a religious believer, this story of personal redemption and its illustration of Christian conversion, shorn of politics and culture wars, is uplifting and hopeful. (Whether or not you want to stick around for Phil Robertson’s post-movie sermon is another matter.)
The biggest downside of The Blind is the negative content. Inevitably, a film about alcoholism will feature frequent bouts of excessive drinking, and this one adds cigarette smoking to the mix. Phil drives drunk, crashes his car, and abuses his wife - yelling, threatening, shoving and throwing things at her. Viewers with strong feelings about hunting or firearms will be unhappy about scenes of a child using a gun, and repeated images of birds being shot out of the sky. Parents will also be disturbed at the sight of children working in a bar, even if they aren’t serving alcohol.
I must admit that I expected to dislike this film, given that I loathe Duck Dynasty. Thankfully, this film eschews the culture wars of the TV series and tells a universal story of family resilience, redemption and growth. You don’t have to enjoy killing ducks to appreciate that message.Directed by Andrew Hyatt. Starring Aaron von Andrian, Amelia Eve, Matthew Erick White, Brielle Robillard, Ronan Carroll. Running time: 108 minutes. Theatrical release October 6, 2023. Updated October 6, 2023
Watch the trailer for The Blind
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Blind rated PG-13? The Blind is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for thematic content and smoking
Violence: There are many hunting scenes where guns are fired and ducks fall from the sky. Dead birds are shown being carried by hunters. A mentally ill woman yells at and frightens her children. She later screams when she is taken to a mental hospital against her will. There are domestic violence scenes where a man yells at, threatens, shoves, and throws things at his wife. A drunk driver crashes his car into a tree.
Sexual Content: A man and woman are seen kissing on a few occasions. A teenage girl gets pregnant before eventually marrying the father of her child.
Profanity: The script contains a minor profanity and a scatological curse.
Alcohol / Drug Use: There are frequent scenes of adults drinking alcohol to excess. Alcoholism is a major theme of the movie and alcohol use is not glorified; in fact, its terrible consequences are clearly demonstrated. Adults smoke cigarettes.
Page last updated October 6, 2023
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