We don’t watch a lot of movies in my home but I love finding movies with great life lessons for my kids, so I was excited to check out Trust Fund from Mapelle Films. I also got to read the companion book, Love Was Near with my oldest daughter. I was really excited to learn that producer of this movie was a homeschooler himself!
On the surface Trust Fund is a pretty standard prodigal son story. The biggest difference from other renditions of this Biblical parable is that it is that the main characters are women rather than men. The story revolves around the somewhat flighty Reese who is still trying to find herself, her extremely organized and responsible-to-a-fault sister, and her loving father. The girl’s mother passed away before the movie begins, and it is clear this loss has left a hole in the girls’ hearts. Reese has just returned from a trip at the beginning of the movie and is clearly distracted and searching for something she feels she can’t get in the life her father and sister want her to live. The choices she makes to chase her dreams are poor, to say the least, and lead her down a path that could be extremely destructive. I will leave the rest of the story for you to discover by watching the movie.
The companion book, Love Was Near, is a great addition to the movie for teenage girls, or even adults who would like to study the prodigal son story further and from a feminine perspective. The book is a combination of the book Reese wrote about her experiences, Reese’s diary, and a study guide to the movie. Each chapter includes a portion of the book, excerpts from her diary, and reflection questions based on the chapter and segments of the movie it covered. This is a great resource for a mother and daughter or a teen girls’ small group to study together after watching the movie. It gives more details about the events in the movie and addresses many thoughts and feelings teenagers face, how Reese chose to deal with them and what options would have made better choices.
My 11-year-old daughter and I watched this movie together and each read the book. While we discussed the questions in each chapter, we didn’t formally do the study. I thought the movie was well done and engaging. I loved viewing this story from a modern female perspective. I also loved that the movie included the older sister’s role and gave adequate attention to how she was feeling throughout the situation. I have often related to the older sibling in this story so found that perspective interesting.
My daughter enjoyed the movie and says she would recommend it, but she says she did not really relate to the book. She isn’t yet dealing with most of the feelings and issues addressed in the book and said she thinks it is a bit too mature for her. We both think it would be best suited for a teenager, probably age 15 and up. The book is very well written and would make an excellent study for that age group.
There is also a study guide available to download for free on the Trust Fund website. We didn’t use the study guide but I looked it over and think it would be an excellent addition to a small group study of the movie alone or in addition to the book. The study guide also discusses the thoughts, feelings, and role of the older sister for those who relate more to that character.
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