The film and developing TV series portrays life in 1800s Michigan, focusing on a Civil War vet trying to make peace with his losses and start a new life despite the world resisting change around him.
Wild Faith is a moving story about a Civil War veteran named Emmet (Shane Hagedorn), who returns home a hero, but he is resentful for the treatment he receives from the townspeople after his wife has passed away, when he continues to house a black woman named Haddie (Lauren LaStrada) and her daughter – post slavery. There is also a romance developing between this couple, so the neighbors are especially bigoted regarding this.
From the get-go, Emmet has to defend what he considers his family from both verbal and physical abuse from others, and one of the leading perpetrators is the preacher of the town, who was Emmet’s father-in-law. He judges Emmet for abandoning the church and seemingly his faith in God, not to mention continuing to live with and support a black woman. Emmet is clear, however, that the God he believes in does not discriminate by race.
The acting by all is powerful and heartfelt. When Haddie’s daughter is kidnapped by the rabble-rousers in town in an attempt to sell her to the circus, Emmet sets out with a couple of friends to rescue her and discovers that the sheriff is involved in the scheme. Emmet behaves bravely on several occasions, willing laying down his life for his friends and for a cause, which he believes is greater than himself.
There is some violence where guns are pulled, shots are fired, fighting ensues, and threats abound, even Haddie strikes Emmet at one point, and there is some smoking and drinking by the bad men in town. However, the message of unity and love is powerful throughout, where even the preacher comes to consider things in a new light when Haddie saves him from a wild circus tiger who is on the loose. Ultimately, Emmet’s journey back to God is the poignant moment of this film—when he finds himself having to rely on One more powerful than himself.
Due to some violence involving weapons, as well as threatening circumstances, Wild Faith merits the Dove-Approved seal for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
Though Wild Faith is a Civil War western, its grave subject matter of racial discrimination, reliance on God under extreme pressure, and sacrificial behavior for others is extremely relevant today.