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The Independent Critic

Alexa Jansson, Noelle Perris, Benjamin Keepers, Marco Aiello, Chad Bishop
Sandy Boikian
81 Mins.

 "Fragile World" Weaves Together Vulnerable Humanity and Faith 

After experiencing a mental breakdown following the death of her father, Rosalie (Alexa Jansson) decides to end her life.

Enter August (Benjamin Keepers).

August is a dashing stranger who could have stepped out of the pages of a romance novel. With this newfound love of man and life, Rosalie becomes friends with Britt (Noelle Perris) and volunteers to feed the homeless where he meets Fitz (Marco Aiello), an enchanting drifter who believes himself to be a trock star. However, with Rosalie starting to slip more deeply into delusions, Britt begins to question the actual existence of August.

What is real?

Fragile World, a Dove Foundation approved film with five doves, maintains its firm presence in the faith-based cinematic world while also weaving itself deeply into the very world that many faith-based films don't, and even can't, successfully visit. Fragile World is refreshingly devoid of the whole "us vs. them" mentality that can so often sabotage any hopes that a faith-based film could actually be used to reach out to others.

That's not an issue here.

Fragile World has screened at multiple film festivals and picked up a few prizes along the way at Glendale International Film Festival, HolyWood Christian Film Festival, Inspired Faith Film Festival and others.

Fragile World most reminded me of Lars and the Real Girl, a Ryan Gosling-led secular film that, despite its unique storyline, I myself have used in preaching on multiple occasions.

While the acting in Fragile World is for the most part fine, with relative newcomer Alexa Jansson tackling a challenging role convincingly, the film's dialogue occasionally rings false and elements of the connection between the therapeutic relationship and faith are unconvincing and bordering on unethical. This doesn't sink the film, fortunately, but it does hinder surrendering to it completely.

While certain elements didn't ring authentically, Fragile World succeeds immensely in having a healthy attitude toward the weaving together of people with different backgrounds and the reality that medication and therapy can complement one's faith practices. Far too often, those who have needs deny them out of fear of judgment and humiliation in churches - it's nice to see a balance that doesn't condemn needing help yet also doesn't minimize the importance of faith. Bravo.

Fragile World is a touching, inspiring film with a strong ensemble cast and messages that will resonate with both secular and faith-based audiences. For more information on the film, visit its official website.

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic