The story of the Prodigal Son never gets old. But it is easy to miss the full impact of this parable because it is set in New Testament times within the context of the Jewish culture. A Long Way Off brings the story into a contemporary setting that makes it more relatable.
Much to the disappointment of his father (John Diehl)—and much to the disgust of his older brother, Seth (Dave Blamy)—handsome college grad Jake Abraham (Jason Burkey) does not want to continue working in the family’s agricultural farm. He has other ambitions and they do not include agricultural business at any level. So, he asks for his inheritance in order to set off and begin a new life.
But Jake flaunts his finances, makes unwise investments and yields to a lifestyle of foolish partying. It doesn’t take long before this “new life” does not look so good and Jake finds his life in danger. He is trapped.
As in the biblical Prodigal Son, Jake returns home humbled and repentant – and is received with arms open wide by his father. The older brother, meanwhile, is not so keen to see him. But, as good stories go, the brother comes around. (Although in the biblical account, there is no suggestion that the brother comes around. Still one can hope.)
A few other special characters are part of Jake’s life and were instrumental in his turnaround including a homeless man (Rusty Martin, Sr.) and a barista called Summer (Zoe Myers). Summer serves to add a touch of romance to the story too.
You can download study notes, sermon guide and other interesting info to complement the movie here: http://alongwayoffthemovie.com.
A Long Way Off makes a wonderful addition to a DVD library for those who enjoy wholesome entertainment with a meaningful message. Or, think “stocking stuffer.” It’s not too early to begin.
This story will also appear in Assist News Service.
Janey DeMeo M.A.
Copyright © September 2014