It was a simpler time in the late 1940s, especially in South Georgia and specifically in a sleepy little town called Second Samuel. What had been called the Great Depression was quickly fading into memory. The war had been won, the election was now over and “Give ‘em Hell Harry” was still president. It had been an exciting time for sure and the folks in Second Samuel were ready for things to settle down and get back to normal. Except…this was the summer Miss Gertrude passed away and deep dark secrets were about to be revealed. Nobody could have imagined how the passing of “the sweetest woman what ever drawed a breath…” would throw the entire town into a stir of commotion and self-rumination when they discover her secrets.
Set in the sleepy town of Second Samuel, GA, in the late 1940s, the passing of Miss Gertrude has caused quite a stir. Beloved by all, and a mystery to most, Miss Gertrude is renowned for her kindness, compassion and generosity. She’s every bit what you’d expect an elderly Southern lady to be. She cares for neighbors, teaches piano, acts as a matchmaker and keeps track of B-Flat, a spirited young man who is far smarter than anyone realizes. When Miss Gertrude passes away, adoration turns to hate and condemnation as the truth of her life, identity and secrets come to light. The staunchly conservative town is left in an uproar trying to sort out the dilemma. Does a person’s past erase all the good they’ve done in the present? Should such a good person be condemned simply because they weren’t who (or what) you thought they were? This intriguing and unique story is not to be overlooked, but rather used as a springboard for conversation and understanding.
Narrated in part by B-Flat, as he exchanges letters with President Truman, the utterly unique story unfolds in a hilarious, smart, drama filled fashion with plenty of heartwarming scenes, gut-busting laughter and ornery hijinks. While it cannot be denied that the subject matter is far too heavy and mature for younger audiences, this film should not be disregarded simply because it tackles such tricky, oftentimes personal subject matter. It would be a shame to balk at the film because of a plot-crucial character and miss out on the touching message it presents. A message which maintains that we are all in need of forgiveness, understanding, and to be treated with kindness and respect regardless of race, gender, sexuality or any of the dozens of other divisive issues we find ourselves dealing with today.
Second Samuel brilliantly exposes how fickle our human nature is, how easily we turn on one another when we are offended, how quickly we condemn instead of listening. While I don’t agree with some of the ideas hinted at in the film, I do wholeheartedly agree with its heart: love your neighbor as yourself; your different neighbor, your odd neighbor, your ethnically different neighbor, your disabled neighbor, your eccentric neighbor, your aggravating neighbor…and all the other lovely human beings we encounter every single day. This film is fresh, exciting, and captivating. It’s the spark that will light a thousand conversations and quite possibly, touch even more hearts.
It’s true, this isn’t your typical faith-based film. It could do without the language and incorporate more faith elements throughout the film … But when approached with neutrality, it’s a delightful film with incredible vision, rich characters and a theme worth thinking on. As always, please use your best judgment and utilize our content grid when deciding what is appropriate for you and your family.
(Please note that sexuality is not a main issue within the film, the topic included is gender identity, though it isn’t front and center in the story, in mainly sets the stage for the conflict and aftermath in the story arch. It’s more about how the other characters respond to the discovery, rather than debating the topic.)
Due to salty language/swearing, this film is not Dove Approved.