Do you listen to stories from the homeless on the street or do you find yourself walking a bit faster than before? Has the light not changed fast enough when one of these people got closer to your car with a sign carrying a message explaining their need for food or money? Did you give the sign a glance? Have you ever looked a homeless man or woman in the eyes? Do you shrink or shy away when poverty, mental health, or addiction is obvious in the outward appearance of a person in your presence? You may say no. But your subconscious has answered truthfully.
The documentary THEIRS IS THE KINGDOM shows how the elements of communication, education, art, and love are breeding grounds for humanity and awareness in all things. And so, this documentary is for all of you reading this.
Many bodies were cremated and turned over to gardener, Robert, of Haywood Street Congregation on a regular basis. These bodies; he would call friends, were unidentified individuals who were a mix of individuals suffering from mental health issues, addiction, and homelessness. The Memorial Garden at Haywood Street was a place where they could still be remembered because their life and their stories still mattered. Unfortunately, their ashes being buried there may have been the first time in their life that they received any real recognition of their life or as a human being in this society in general.
Who are the people along the unidentified? Did they feel loved? Did anyone ever wonder why they were living in their circumstances? Did anyone care? Were they abused? Beaten? Scared ? Could they have been helped? Did they feel human?
To share. To discuss. And to listen to the stories of those who need us to talk about their stories more often.
Christopher Zaluski does an impeccable job in capturing the permanent essence of the fresco painting of the homeless community in Asheville, NC. The fresco painting by Christopher Holt carries the message that these stories of homelessness, addiction, and mental health issues deserve to be heard. What better way to make this message carry than in a one of a kind , permanent piece of artwork that will carry on through time.
And just like the fresco will carry on through time, so will the impression that this documentary has left on my mind and heart. All throughout the film, there is a sense of belonging that I managed to feel from the presence of whomever was on screen. The belonging came from the models who were in the fresco that were the voices of the unheard that all of this is about. The fact that the film is based around the models (who were addicts and homeless individuals) not feeling a sense of belonging in society and for that element to beautifully resonate across the screen really says something about the power of Zaluski’s filmmaking and what artist Holt’s fresco really beholds.
There were tearjerker moments for myself throughout the film as well and I couldn’t help but resonate with a lot of these people based off of my own life struggles of also going out and seeing people on the streets today because of watching this film. It made me think more in the moment about how to take action and it still does. This film just makes me think about how much more there is to be done and how much it is I really haven’t done about a population of people I truly do care about.
Thank you Christopher Zaluski for re sparking the flame of a candle that should have never went out. That should actually to be lit.
With each story bound to resonate with those who watch it; ‘Theirs Is The Kingdom’ only holds the key to those who seek truth and dare to share the message.
RATING : A+