"In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears." This quote from Psalm 18:6 (NRSV) lies at the heart of "A Father's Legacy," coming to theaters for one night only on June 17th, just in time for Father's Day. God's providence peeks through this simple yet touching story of a son searching for a father he's never known.
Billy (Tobin Bell) lives alone at his secluded cabin by a picturesque pond. A widower now, he spends his days doing little repairs around his property and working puzzles during the evening. His peace and quiet is shattered one night by a young man, Nick (Jason Mac), who barges into his home wielding a gun and demanding that Billy hide him from the police. Needing to lie low after committing armed robbery, Nick also needs to do something about the gunshot wound sustained during the crime.
Holding the old man hostage, Nick demands Billy follow his every order, even though it's pretty clear Nick isn't a hardened criminal. As Nick sleeps, Billy treats his wound as best he can. The next day, Billy, with his straightforward manner and dry sarcasm (throwing out comments like, "I don't appreciate you bleeding on my couch,") just tells Nick that he's got work to do and marches outside to work on a spillway for his pond.
Tobin Bell and Jason Mac in "A Father's Legacy." © 2021 Cinedigm Entertainment Group. All Rights Reserved.
Still recovering from his wound, Nick sits nearby, gun in lap, while Billy works and the two start talking. Over the course of Nick's convalescence, their conversations get more personal and revelatory. Nick's wife, Jean (Rebeca Robles) is pregnant. She thinks he'll be a great dad but Nick, who has never known his own father, worries if he's up to snuff, especially since he had no role model. Nick reveals to Billy that he's hired a private investigator to find his father and stole the money to pay the PI.
Billy, through no desire of his own, becomes a father-figure for Nick, patiently imparting his own nuggets of wisdom and calling Nick "Son." At one point Billy takes Nick into the woods to fix the water pump and shares his tradition of picking up skipping stones and bringing them back to the pond. He tells Nick, "The ripples on the water are a representation of our life. Each ripple affects the area around it and at the center of each circle is a choice we make."
Tobin Bell as Billy and Jason Mac as Nick in "A Father's Legacy." © 2021 Cinedigm Entertainment Group. All Rights Reserved.
Billy's life isn't all idyllic, though, as Nick soon finds out. When some goons sent by Bennett (Michael Aaron Milligan), a local businessman who wants to buy Billy's property, show up at the house, Nick wonders whether or not he should intervene.
Actor-writer-director, Jason Mac, scores big by providing a story with characters that can be gruff and conflicted yet also show compassion and vulnerability. The moments of prayer interspersed throughout the film can provide people of faith encouragement to turn to prayer in their own troubles just like Billy, Nick, and Jean did. The film would also serve as a wonderful conversation starter for a men's prayer group or anyone working through the complications of father/son relationships. The place of Scripture and prayer in relationships is also worth exploring.
Jason Mac as Nick in "A Father's Legacy." © 2021 Cinedigm Entertainment Group. All Rights Reserved.
"A Father's Legacy" could be considered a slice-of-life film with a slow pacing, but in this case that's a good thing because life isn't always full of action or adventure, but life is full of relationships and the quality of those relationships contribute greatly to the amount of happiness and serenity we experience in life.