When my daughter (Domestic Geek Girl) Gingi told me she had a movie to review that she didn’t think she’d be able to watch, I volunteered to help. Since I am the original couch potato, and love to watch movies that spotlight family, love and faith, I thought this would be a good one to cut my teeth on.
Full disclosure, I barely glanced at the description of the film before I sat down to watch. All I got was ‘singers…cancer…death…
love story’. I’ll admit, I was worried about a low budget “film” and any “acting” therein. Within the first few minutes I was struck by a couple of things. First off, this was NOT a ‘film’ per se, these were not actors telling the story of this singer/song writer duo. (Like I said, I didn’t read the fine print.) This was a documentary. Other points I picked up quickly were how great this gal’s voice was and that God’s Fingerprints were all over this production and their lives.
Joey and Rory Feek had a very successful singing career. They were at the top of their game, had a wonderful farm outside Nashville and were expecting their first child. They decided to take a year off to just enjoy a slower paced life and prepare for the new baby that was due in Feb. Because they were so popular in the Country music scene, Rory started documenting their lives through a blog and the constant video he took of his wife and their life. That point there, is the biggest proof of God working in their lives. They thought they were just keeping in contact with fans, and recording their quiet life for themselves and their family…little did they know it would also document a sharp turn into Joey’s battle with cancer.
The hurdles they went through before they reached the end of their two year ordeal started with the home birth of their baby girl. Indiana was born with a midwife in attendance. She was healthy and had a wonderful introduction to her mom…but then something went wrong. It wasn’t the baby, but Joey who had a medical emergency. She was rushed to the hospital and had to have surgery. It was during this visit to the hospital that Indiana was checked out too, and it was found that she has Down Syndrome. Rory was in tears over the fate of his wife and how he was going to break the news to Joey when she came out of surgery. That’s when we first get a real look at the mettle this woman was blessed with. Her love shows in her face, she told her husband, ‘THIS is the baby God wanted for us’. For the next two years we see how this beautiful little bundle of joy keeps that smile on her mom’s face. Soon after, Joey gets her first diagnosis of cancer.
This movie is beautifully filmed. It constantly looks like a it’s being shot as a Hallmark greeting card of ‘old fashioned Christmas’, or ‘life in the Country’. Just gorgeous shots of the area and the people who make up the large family/friend circle the Feek’s surround themselves with. It’s edited beautifully and uses Joey’s lovely, old fashioned ‘country’ singing voice to accent and spotlight so many poignant moments.
During her final round of treatment, Joey recorded an album of her favorite Hymns. I would really love to buy this collection, since one of the songs she sings is “It is Well With my Soul”, a song by Horatio Spafford, a distant relative of mine. The song perfectly fits with what Joey was going through. She always put God first, and everything else fell into place and gave her the peace and joy that kept her going.
If you love this duo, or good old fashioned country music, or want to see a family movie that puts God at the center of their lives and loves, this is a film to watch. If I could be even a fraction the woman Joey was, I’d be a success at life. They may have used creative editing to cut out the worst of her ordeal, but seeing her quiet, calm, almost serene countenance was inspirational.
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