Based on a true story, Tulsa follows Tommy Colston (Scott Pryor), a Marine veteran with his own battles to face. Upon realizing he has a 9-year-old daughter, Tulsa (Livi Birch), Tommy unwillingly allows her into his home, where her devout faith in Christ begins to change both of their lives. But when an accident turns Tommy and Tulsa’s life around, Tommy must learn to overcome his battles with addiction and loss to become the father his daughter always wanted.
Tulsa is a story of redemption; specifically, a story of childlike faith and an unwavering love of Christ transforming an addiction-riddled life.
Tommy Colston is no stranger to substance abuse, or a stranger to loss. Before learning of his daughter’s existence, he struggles with alcoholism and addiction to tobacco and prescription pills, appearing to be close to losing that battle. However, when Tulsa enters his life, having been passed through foster homes following a motorcycle accident that claimed her biological mother’s life, her faith begins to better the lives of those she meets, including Tommy’s. As Tulsa and Tommy grow closer, she guides him to a more Christ-centered life, prompting him to abandon the substance abuse that had so influenced his life.
After a tragedy ensues, having learned from his daughter, Tommy draws near to God and relies on Him for comfort. As Tommy grow near to God, so he similarly draws near to Tulsa, striving to be a better father, and man, than he had previously been.
Tulsa is transparent about the tragedies and difficulties of substance abuse, as well as the circumstances that can contribute to it. Filled with tangible loss, as well as the hardships of recovering from addiction, Tulsa illustrates the graphic and often-relatable experiences that life can offer.
As a story of redemption, and of coming to Christ, the plot exhibits what many coming-to-Christ stories often entail: raw and real tribulations. Tulsa shows each of them, fully. Tulsa shows the rawness of addiction, the rawness of rehabilitation, the rawness of withdrawals. The film also exposes the rawness of loss, of difficulty, and, unfortunately, the rawness of being pushed to the very end. However, Tulsa also shows how a life centered in Christ can transform that life; though, as God promised, not without hardship. Instead, Tulsa exhibits the true nature of a man redeemed not only by a child he never knew existed, but a God he previously never relied on.
Though featuring aspects of adult content, Tulsa teaches several important lessons: primarily, that a life that relies on Christ, though not without difficulty, is the most valuable life we can lead. Tulsa does cover very difficult topics to grasp, including, as previously mentioned, topics of substance abuse, violence, and suicide, but conveys a most important message: the unending love of Jesus Christ, no matter the circumstances.
Christian themes of redemption and joy garner a Dove-approved rating of 18+.
The Dove Take:
Tulsa, the heartwarming redemption story of a hard-hearted man, shares both the tragedies and the joys of coming to Christ.