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FREE IN DEED image courtesy by Mark Graham

L'Atelier du Festival
Directed by :
120.00 minutes


  • Locations and shooting dates: Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania) - hiver/ Winter 2009
  • Language film shot in ENGLISH
  • Working budget € 0.875 M
  • Financing acquired € 0.16 M


  • Jake MAHAFFY - Director


"Free in Deed" is about a man who tries to perform a miracle and fails. Three years ago in the poor storefront church of an abandoned strip mall, a small congregation attempted the miraculous healing of a violent eight-year-old autistic boy. The boy was held down to the floor as church members prayed over him - his own mother was holding his feet - when he suddenly died. Only one man from that group was imprisoned for suffocating the child. Set in an impoverished religious community in the post-industrial town of Oil City, this film relentlessly follows Abe Wilkins' earnest attempts to help the mother and her suffering, uncontrollable young son, Benny. When he is commissioned by his church elders with Benny's healing, Abe cautiously accepts. But as Benny resists him, Abe dedicates even more of his time and will to invoking a divine intervention. With this escalation, chaos ensues and Abe comes to realize that the terrifying power he confronts in Benny is not simply physical but demonic.


According to the court, one man crushed a child to death for an hour and a half, the entire time believing that he was helping him. This film is about the brutality of good intentions and the troubles a profoundly religious man faces while trying to force his own faith on the world. This is not a docudrama or re-enactment but a visually intense, spiritual reconception nominally based on an actual event. Ultimately, this one man’s expensive insistence on divine love, despite all evidence to the contrary, will dramatize the difficult contradictions between faith, hope and facts.