Film Review by Kam Williams
Iraq War Drama Recounts Army Chaplain’s Real-Life Ordeal
Soon after completing his seminary studies, Darren Turner (Justin Breuning) was commissioned as an Army Chaplain. He was assigned to Georgia’s Fort Stewart, but received orders to ship out to Iraq before he and his family even had a chance to get settled.
Still, Darren and his wife, Heather (Sarah Drew) took the deployment in stride, relying heavily on their faith that he would return safely and have no trouble making the adjustment back to civilian life. This, despite evidence that neighbors like spouse-abusing Michael Lewis (Jason George) had been left severely damaged psychologically by tours of duty overseas.
So, Darren naively bid Heather and their three young children adieu, oblivious of the toll that serving during the 2007 troop surge might take. Stationed at a forward operating base outside Baghdad, he would experience all the horrors of the war: sniper fire, ambushes, improvised explosive devices, rocket-propelled grenades and mortar attacks.
While Darren was spared physical injury, numerous soldiers that he ministered to were wounded or killed during the intense campaign. Against his better judgment, he routinely hid all the gruesome details of what he was witnessing from his family.
Consequently, Heather came to feel that Darren was no longer connecting with her and the kids. And those suspicions were only confirmed when he arrived home after a year on the front lines. Jumpy and paranoid, the once doting husband and father was now angry, distant and mean.
Her patience wearing thin, Heather tells her husband he needs help. Ultimately, she kicks him out of the house, though praying for forgiveness for “judging something I don’t understand myself.”
Thus unfolds Indivisible, a faith-based docudrama recounting the real-life fall from grace of Darren Turner. Co-written and directed by David G. Evans (The Grace Card), the compassionate biopic convincingly conveys the idea that a non-combatant like a chaplain might very well suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
What sets this film apart from most Christian-oriented fare is that its characters are more complex than those simplistically-drawn individuals typically served up by relatively heavy-handed morality plays. Homecoming from war treated as more than merely tying a yellow ribbon around an old oak tree and leaving the rest to Jesus.
Excellent (3.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for violence and mature themes
Running time: 119 minutes
Production Studio: Reserve Entertainment / WTA / Graceworks Pictures
Studio: Pure Flix / Provident Films