I Reveal (2010) – By Cary Conley

Approaching the third anniversary of when his wife left him for his best friend, Gabe is awakened in the night by a vision from God.  When the vision is over, Gabe finds himself blinded.  Seeking guidance from his pastor and church elders, Gabe tries to convince him his visions are real.

As the visions grow ever more frequent, Gabe finds himself at odds with his church.  God tells him that his church has been built by hypocrites who excommunicate members for their sins instead of forgiving them and working to restore their faith and hope.  But the church elders—some of which have sinned themselves—don’t believe Gabe.  They think the stress of the forthcoming anniversary is too much for him to bear and that his mind has snapped.

Addressing some very heavy topics such as sin and forgiveness as well as the concept of a true prophet, writer and director Timothy Compton has created a very thoughtful, as well as thought-provoking, exploration of what it means to be a true believer.  During Jesus’ life there were many opposing views as some chose to view him as a true prophet while others sought to disprove his claims.  Still others were jealous of him and sought to destroy him for that reason.  Drawing parallels between Gabe and Jesus, Compton illustrates for the viewer exactly how difficult it is to be a true prophet.

As Gabe seeks to heal and forgive those who have sinned against him, his church turns on him, forbidding him from preaching and from bringing “sinners” back into their flock.  Seeking forgiveness, Gabe’s best friend—who stole Gabe’s wife—attempts to make amends now that he has discovered he has a fatal illness.  Quoting Gabe’s father, who was also a pastor in their former church, Carlos tells Gabe he knows he has committed grave sins, but also hopes to be redeemed before he dies.  In a final vision, God tells Gabe that Carlos’ disease will be transferred to Gabe as a sign of forgiveness.  The final scene depicts Gabe sitting in a room, bleeding—from a wound in his side as well as in one of his wrists…

While I drew an obvious conclusion from the closing scene, I think it is open-ended enough that different viewers can take away different meanings.  Again addressing the theme of what it means to be a true prophet, we don’t know how Gabe’s wounds were caused.  Did Gabe, in his griefstricken paranoia, create the wounds himself or is he truly a messenger from God.  Regardless of which view you choose, the ending is undeniably powerful.

An interesting short (30 minutes) film that has great production value and high quality acting, if you are interested in films that challenge instead of merely entertain, then this film will interest you.  Go to http://vimeo.com/10694330 if you would like to see this film online.