Movie Review by Andre Viljoen
Genre: Comedy Drama
Brother White is a funny, undemanding, heartwarming, family movie about a significant journey of personal discovery by James White (A.R. White — Jerusalem Countdown, Me Again), one of dozens of associate pastors at a California mega-church run by flashy pastor Johnny Kingman (Ray Wise — Twin Peaks).
James, who has always wanted to lead a church of his own jumps at the opportunity to become pastor of the small Divine Faith Apostolic Church in downtown Atlanta. He ignores the objections of his wife ( and children and the family move to a seedy, predominantly African American neighbourhood. His supportive wife, (Logan White) raises eyebrows each time she has to introduce herself as Lily White. The tiny congregation are less than delighted by their new pastor who is out of touch with their culture and whose initial attempt to impress his flock with mega-church razzmataz is a flop of note. The Whites soon learn that their new church is in danger of being foreclosed by a corrupt banker and for lack of any alternative, and with the encouragement of the likeable Deacon Hill (Reginald VelJohnson – Family Matters, Die Hard), the congregation agree to support their new pastor’s last-ditch plan to raise funds by hosting a concert.
James’ burning need to prove himself by making something of his career, blinds him to the needs of his loved ones, especially his disenchanted teenage daughter who has been unceremoniously removed far away from her school and friends. Despite his glaring blind spots and selfish ambition, a more likeable, generous side of his nature shines through and he makes an unlikely ally, Easy 8 (Senyo Amoaku), who helps the church to achieve a musical miracle.
As the drama unfolds James has a pivotal encounter with his teenage daughter, Emma (Anna Margaret), at a bus station where she was planning to get on a bus back to California. He begins to realise that there is more value and significance in what he already has in his life than in the future achievements he pursues. There are a number of funny and charming scenes involving Vee, the feisty organist and widow of a former pastor of the church (Jackée -Sister Sister,227), the delightful, shy, church secretary, Delsey (Nraca), and various characters living in the hood, highlighting the intrinsic value and dignity of people regardless of their status.
Grammy award winning gospel star Bebe Winans adds lustre to the musical aspect of the movie, and 12-year-old singer (Nina Sophia Mojares) is a delight.
Brother White is a Pure Flix Entertainment production in association with GMC, it is directed by Brian Herzlinger and written by Sean Paul Murphy, Matt Richards and Tommy Biaze.