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Today’s Prayer Focus

Beautifully Broken

MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for mature thematic content involving violence and disturbing images, and some drug material.

Reviewed by: Karen C. Flores

Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Adults • Young Adults • Teens
1 hr. 48 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
August 24, 2018
DVD: December 4, 2018
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Relevant Issues

Refugees fleeing for safety from murder in their own country

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Rwandan Genocide

devastation of war torn countries

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If everyone only followed the concept of “an eye for an eye” the whole world would go blind

life in a refugee camp

Christians can help refugee families

Being prisoners

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Keeping promises


Fathers fighting to save their families

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Helping others find healing, forgiveness and reconciliation

Helping others can change the world

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Importance of forgiveness and reconciliation

IMPORTANCE OF GRANTING FORGIVENESS TO OTHERS— In God’s sight, it is totally unacceptable for a Christian to refuse to forgive others.

Remember the parable of the master who forgave a guilty man who owed him an amount so enormous that he could never hope to pay it back? The master completely forgave him. But, afterward, that forgiven man roughly grabbed another who owed him a very small amount, and allowed him no time to repay—showed him no mercy—and threw him into prison. When the master heard of this, he was FURIOUS and his punishment was swift.

In that parable, the Master represents God. And the forgiven man represents you, IF you have similarly FAILED to forgive another, when Christ’s blood has paid your unpayable debt to God, and He has forgiven you for everything you have ever done wrong—and for your continuing failures to do everything that is truly right and good.

Therefore, we have a responsibility to be humble, forgiving, loving servants of God.

Featuring Benjamin A. Onyango … William Mwizerwa
Eric Roberts … Larry Hartley
Alan Powell … G. David Anderson
Scott William Winters … Randy Hartley
Emily Hahn … Andrea Hartley
Caitlin Nicol-Thomas … Darla Hartley
Eva Ndachi … Ebraille Mwizerwa
Eugene Khumbanyiwa … Augustine
Michael W. Smith … Pastor Henry
Toby McKeehan (TobyMac) … Himself
See all »
Director Eric Welch
Producer Big Film Factory
Film Incito
Red Entertainment Group
See all »
Distributor ArtAffects Entertainment

Before I summarize the plot, I want to start off by saying that this story is about Rwandan refugees, so there are a lot of violent scenes in this movie. However, since it is Christian, the film handles the violent theme carefully as possible. Some of the writers also collaborated on the film “I’m Not Ashamed,” which is based on the true story of Rachel Scott. “Beautifully Broken” is based on the true story of Randy Hartley.

“Beautifully Broken” is a story about three families living across the world from each other yet, but due to their brokenness they are all connected. Three fathers have to make decisions to help protect their families in the best way they know how. All three men start off with a peaceful and loving life, but tragedy and hostility cause their lives to take a different path. William becomes a refugee, Mugenzi becomes a prisoner, and Randy has a daughter with a compelling secret.

The story starts off in Rwanda during its massive genocide. William tries to get his wife and daughter away from the shootings. At the same time, Mugenzi becomes an unwillingly a part of the Militia. William ends up a refugee in America, separated from his family living in Randy’s church. Mugenzi winds up in jail separated from his family.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Randy is a hardworking man, devoted husband, and loving father. His family decides to sponsor a child from Rwanda through a Christian charitable organization. His daughter, Andrea becomes pen pals with the child, who is Mugenzi’s daughter. They write constantly and form a bond. One day, a tragic event happens to Andrea. She refuses to speak about it. Following that event, their daughter becomes a very different person, almost unrecognizable. As time unfolds, Andrea gets further and further away from them. All three of these families become intertwined in each other’s lives. Each family helps the other get healing and restoration in their lives. It is as if they all needed each other to assist in fixing the brokenness in each individual tragedy.

This movie takes on a very difficult topic and presents it in an extremely decent way. There are scenes where killing with a machete and shooting with a gun take place. You never see the actually slaughter, but it is quite obvious. One scene shows violence towards women. I won’t go into details, the film never shows the act, but the audience can figure it out. It also leaves a haunting feeling.

This film is a must see, because it tells a tale of how brokenness can bring new life, healing, and forgiveness through God’s love and power. It does not beat the audience over the head with the Bible, but it is clearly showing the Gospel through the actions and the steps of each person.

After watching this picture, I felt as if each family needed the other. They had to connect in order for restoration and forgiveness to occur. They were connected on so many levels. The fathers all had one daughter. They all had homes and stable jobs to provide for their families. I appreciated how they even tried to tie the theme of connectedness during scene changes. For example, the camera hones in on the mother pouring coffee into a cup in America, while the next scene starts, with a mother is pouring water into a jug in Rwanda. I appreciated the quality and careful thought that went into this film.

Overall, I would recommend this picture for adults and teens about 15 years old and above. I feel that the tone of violence and adult themes is too strong for younger audiences. It is a story about an actual massive genocide, so there are many scenes with explosions and people being taken out of their homes to be slaughtered. The violence is not graphic. You never see the killing, but a man holding up a machete in the air and bringing it down while people are lying on the ground gives a clear impression of what is happening. The audience does not see him killing them, but does see some blood and dead bodies during the Rwanda scenes. There is a also situation involving drugs, because one of the daughters goes down a wrong path. A boy and a girl are sitting close to each other in a van, and he moves closer to her. She pushes him away. There is no nudity, no profanity, and no taking the Lord’s name in vain.

By the end of this movie, you will see how God produces beauty out of ashes.

  • Violence: Moderate
  • Sex: Minor
  • Profane language: None
  • Vulgar/Crude language: None
  • Nudity: None
  • Occult: None
Link to official Web siteOfficial site for more information

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—What a beautiful story of God’s intervening in the lives of three families as each one faces terrible tragedies. I watched this movie with my mom as we both like true stories. I was so deeply touched by the faith, endurance and love of God with love of neighbor lived out in the very harshest of circumstances. How God wove these families together is another example that Nothing is impossible with God. I highly recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
DJ, age 62 (USA)

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