For those of you who know me, you know my attention span has an inverse relationship to my age: the older I get, the shorter the attention span. A 30 minute movie is my cup of tea. Again, for those who know me, you know my children are the center of my world...for the good or the bad, that's the way I'm wired. I like to think that most moms are wired the same way. Unfortunately, as was brought to my attention by filmmaker Alex M. Kruz, this is not always the case. Alex, also a parent, finds himself living thousands of miles away from his daughters. And as a parent, as well as previously part of the military, Alex was privy to situations that you and I can only hope are not real. Alex's art and filmmaking are a way of expressing his loss of not having his daughters close by as well as helping to raise funds to save children from horrors that we everyday parents would consider incomprehensible. All the proceeds, thus far from "Red Cloud: Deliverance" have gone to the Somaly Mam Foundation. You see, the main character's name, Jake Red Cloud, lost his family while trying to save children from the human trafficking and sex slave trade. I truly didn't think this was an actual issue, but to my sad realization, it is. The Somaly Mam Foundation was founded to help eradicate this situation.
"Red Cloud: Deliverance" was a visual movie from the beginning. Words weren't needed to express the situation at hand and deliver intrigue from the moment Jake Red Cloud knocked on single mom Jeanine Parker's front door for a room for rent. Within the first five minutes of the movie, I knew that Ms. Parker wasn't up for the Mother Of The Year Award. But I wasn't sure Mr. Red Cloud was a reputable character either. His vague answers, his need for shelter, his cash on hand were all red flags...or were they? As we learned more about Jake Red Cloud, we also learned more about Jeanine and her little girl Ann, played by the wonderfully talented Breanna Lakatos. Those sincere brown eyes and cherubic voice could melt anyone's heart, including Mr. Red Cloud's.
The movie addressed the importance of family or sometimes our cavalier attitude toward those around us. Jake was not the knight in shining armor to deliver Jeanine from her lowly life and help shake her up to see the error of her ways. Jeanine was more interested in which male could buy her things or satisfy her current wants. But Jake had his own needs and wants. These aspects of Jake's life were ultimately molded as his relationship changed and grew with Ann. This, however, didn't seem to impact Jeanine in the least. A sad realization.
The one constant in this movie reflected how important children SHOULD be to anyone; mother, father, any adult. Children are very perceptive, processing everything around them and internalize what is happening. To protect and nurture our children is our ultimate goal, but as was the case of both Jake and Jeanine in this movie, they couldn't always do this. Sometimes circumstances were out of their control, but when they were not, how did they pay the ultimate price?
As I previously stated, this was a visual movie. Yes, there was enough dialogue, but only when truly needed. The cinematography and the body language of the actors gave more information than lines could have possibly done. Alex M. Kruz, who played Jake Red Cloud, conveyed a real sense of loss as the camera studied his expressions. Flashbacks to his former life revealed who he was and why he had become this new version of Jake Red Cloud. The real embodiment of dialogue rested upon the heartfelt words of an eight year old little girl who flawlessly and believably portrayed a needy, yet wise beyond her years, child.
"Red Cloud: Deliverance" is a harsh reminder of the fact that children are not always cherished. The unexpected violence was a bit shocking, but an integral part of the movie. Again, a film to help raise funds to save children from a horrific way of life is a film I want to support.