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Hawks Ridge

By Alan Ng | January 12, 2022

With our country, so divided is there a bridge long enough to bring us together? This and a few questions about faith are considered in writer/director Foster Solomon’s feature film, Hawks Ridge. Solomon plays Elijah, a cabin-in-the-woods recluse who relishes privacy. One day, he gets a call that there was a car accident near him, and duty (with a minimal speck of compassion) compels him to rescue the survivor. To his horror, the man he saved is drug dealer Chill (Alexander Sapp), who killed Elijah’s wife, Robin (Keisha Wallace).

We now flashback and forth in time, learning that Elijah was once a popular pastor in an inner-city community. Robin gave him all the support and the much-needed confidence to do the job. Elijah’s ministry was vibrant and growing, but the drug problem outside the church walls began to infiltrate members of his youth ministry. Hiding from Chill, young Marquis (Tavares Centeio) and his mother, Danitra (Hope Ward), seek help and shelter from Robin. Then, in a shocking confrontation, Chill murders Robin.

Elijah’s faith is shaken, and he quits the church moving to her family’s cabin. Unable to move on with life, Elijah often finds himself reliving the tragic events in dreams and is always in conversation with the ghostly memory of his late wife. Now with Robin’s killer bleeding in his living room, Elijah can’t believe God would put him in this situation, but is it God’s way of jumpstarting his life?

“…the man he saved is drug dealer Chill, who killed Elijah’s wife…”

I don’t know that I’d classify Hawks Ridge as your typical faith-based film. Though we get to the absolute truth behind Robin’s death, the concept of forgiveness and redemption are not played out in a light, message-driven manner. Plus, Christian films would not put up with the numerous exclamations of the N-word from both characters.

If Solomon meant this to be a faith film, he takes us down a very dark path and one that is not solely tied to Robin’s murder. I like that Elijah’s story is complicated and that there are no easy answers. He indeed does have a crisis of faith and struggles with needing to and wanting to help Chill. His morals won’t allow him to die, but his bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired. Then there is this verbal chess game between Elijah and Chill. Elijah wants to know once and for all why Robin died. But, on the other hand, Chill requests Elijah to go f**k himself… again accentuated with a few N-words.

Hawks Ridge is very low-budget and clearly shot with a minimal crew. Though the telltale signs of “no money” are there, the resourceful Solomon produces a solid drama nonetheless. Just to nail down his commitment to the cause, in all of the cabin scenes, Solomon is sporting a full “grizzly-man” beard, and in the flashbacks, the pastoral Elijah is clean-shaven, which means no reshoots allowed.

Hawks Ridge is one of those passion projects that many independent storytellers will empathize with — as it’s one that has to be told. The idea had been gestating with Foster Solomon for 15 years before it was time to give birth. In that time, one can see that Solomon had been thinking about the idea of faith in the worst of times, as well as letting go, and Hawks Ridge is the result.

For more information about Hawks Ridge, visit https://seedandspark.com/fund/hawks-ridge#story.

Hawks Ridge (2021)

Directed and Written: Foster Solomon

Starring: Foster Solomon, Alexander Sapp, Keisha Wallace, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Hawks Ridge Image

"…one of those passion projects that many independent storytellers will empathize with..."

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  1. Marian says:

    This film shows the human side of the pastor. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Relgion does not negate one from being themselves and experiencing all that presents itself to us such as joy, life, pain and hate. Great film.

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