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The Touch

DVD Drama (Rated M)  Kingstone Entertainment $24.95

Based on the true story of the First Baptist Church in Leesburg, Florida, the two key characters in The Touch are the angry and resentful Hannah who finds herself in prison after a drug bust and a middle-class Christian woman, Wanda, who visits the prison and convinces her church to convert one of their houses into a women’s shelter.

The enthusiastic pastor meets stiff opposition from the deacons but a generous gift from an elderly church member enables Wanda to commence the ministry of the woman’s shelter.

While Wanda worries whether the ministry is making any impact Hannah opens up about sexual abuse and being raped as a teenager, goes to church, and makes her commitment after hearing the pastor’s message of God’s love.

It probably puts it in context to know that this film won the Independent Feature category at the Tampa Educational Channel Film Festival in the USA and that’s about where it sits on the scale of narrative and cinematographic excellence.

Its is a tear-jerker and plays every card including drugs, sex, backsliding, violence and attempted suicide with more twists than a corkscrew.

The Touch does have its cringe moments like the expectation that the women in the shelter must attend church on Sunday morning but the theology reaches to be inclusively evangelical and the key characters are believable to some extent.

It’s a cheesy storyline in the same genre as The Bold and the Beautiful but the plot is somehow enticing and The Touch is certainly a tale of grace and almost unconditional love.

Divine Entertainment releases are available from Target stores across Australia.