The power of reconciliation

A pleasingly leisurely and ultimately worthwhile slice of life drama set in the 1930’s—if one can manage sitting through the slow troughs. Memorably, as people are sitting in a church during the communion part of the Sunday service, a young man and a sheriff’s broken relationship is resolved in the best way possible: they experience reconciliation, as symbolized through the communion (or sacrament of reconciliation). Before this, an older African American, Moses (Danny Glover), comes into the life of the widow of the sheriff, Edna Spalding (Sally Field) although his coming into her life is through a sense of “luck”. Despite the Depression, Edna Spalding graciously gives Moses work. Kindly, he encourages her to pay off what she owes the bank (her husband left debts behind) by teaching her cotton-picking skills. For one season, he helps her raise a cotton harvest. Even if Moses must go, because of the Klu Klux Klan in the neighbourhood – one of whom is a businessman who challenges Moses’ skills at negotiating cotton prices – Edna will still know how to pick cotton next season. Moses, like the Moses of the Bible, is her deliverer. Places in the Heart unfolds leisurely but beautifully, is worthwhile, well-meaning, sincere, and features a vivid cast of characters in slice-of-life situations. Very well acted. Beautifully filmed.

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