Higher Ground | Film | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Higher Ground 

Vera Farmiga's film about faith takes place on its own peripheries.

click to enlarge In bed with God: Vera Farmiga
  • In bed with God: Vera Farmiga

Life is a mystery without a solution: The fear, loss and loneliness we experience from time to time, or even, so tragically for some, during much of our allotted time, is real. But for the characters in Higher Ground, the solution may not be. In her debut as a director, the actor Vera Farmiga (Up in the Air) plays Corrine, a woman who becomes a fundamentalist Christian, raises three children in her church, and gradually comes to realize that it's not enough. In Corrine's patriarchal sect, the worshipers embrace a theology that focuses on good and abundant marital sex to stave off temptation and adultery. But they also resolutely shun art, creativity and individuality, which Corrine finally can't do. It's a strange little film -- sometimes blatant, sometimes subtle -- that takes place on its own peripheries and inches toward some unexpected ambiguities, leaving you feeling somewhat empty and uncertain, as if something is missing. Like the existence of God -- which is altogether separate from the man-made industry of religion -- Higher Ground is a judgment call. If that's not the metaphor and meta-idea that Farmiga intended in making her unsettling film, then it should have been. Starts Fri., Oct. 14. Regent Square Theater



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