and the heavens must have cried Image

and the heavens must have cried

By Alan Ng | July 18, 2022

The lore behind Charlie Manson and his “family” still haunts those of us who remember the tragic events of 1969 — most recently portrayed in Tarantino’s Once Upon A Time in Hollywood…   In their short film, and the heavens must have cried, director James Camali and writer-star Hannah Howzdy wonder how Charles Manson could hold so much power and control over his followers.

and the heavens must have cried is the story of female members of the Manson family: Susan “Sadie Mae” Atkins (Hannah Howzdy), Lynette Fromme (Amanda Turen), Patricia Krenwinkel (Remington Moses), and Leslie Van Houten (Evangeline Neuhart). The story centers on Sadie Mae, who is in the process of creating a vinyl album dedicated to Charlie (Nathan Wallace) and collaborates with the other women on the music and lyrics.

Camali and Howzdy take a very bold step in attempting to give their idea of what may have happened behind closed doors. Wallace portrays Charlie as a charismatic spiritual leader with Svengali-like tactics. The film focuses on the sisterhood amongst the four women and how Charles Manson used that sisterhood to not only play them against one another but ultimately give us an idea of the “how” and “why” he got them to do his bidding.

“…in the process of creating a vinyl album dedicated to Charlie [Manson]…”

Let me say, films like and the heavens must have cried take a massive gamble in storytelling. I admire that “go big or go home” attitude. However, to presume to portray what happened in a highly charged moment in human history is risky, and the results will fall on the extremes on the scale of success and failure. Fortunately, in this case, the short succeeds.

That said, I feel that and the heavens must have cried succeeded in telling a plausible story of what happened in the Manson family, and a great deal of the credit goes to the female cast. I will call out Howzdy because she is featured prominently in the short, and she is the one who experiences the “conversion” on screen. You’ll understand, at least, Howzdy’s take on Sadie’s motivation for murder, which is the short’s point.

Telling a Manson story comes with huge risks, and the heavens must have cried succeeds in good and insightful storytelling.

For more information, visit the and the heavens must have cried Instagram page.

and the heavens must have cried (2022)

Directed: James Camali

Written: Hannah Howzdy

Starring: Hannah Howzdy, Nathan Wallace, Amanda Turen, Remington Moses, Evangeline Neuhart, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

and the heavens must have cried Image

"…succeeds in good and insightful storytelling."

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