Films

Films

Twist of Faith (2013)
Starring
Toni Braxton

Written by
Janet Fattal | Joyce Gittlin | Stephen Tolkin

Directed by
Paul A. Kaufman

Synopsis
Jacob, a Jewish Orthodox cantor and amateur songwriter watches in horror as his wife and three small children are killed by a reckless truck driver on their way to the Bronx Zoo.

In shock, Jacob sneaks out of the shiva (Jewish mourning ceremony), and finds himself wandering aimlessly through the streets of Brooklyn. Overcome with grief, he shaves his beard, casts off his traditional black hat, suit and yamuka and spontaneously boards a bus for Alabama.

Meanwhile in Brent, Alabama, a black gospel choir from a tiny church has been chosen as one of the 3 finalists for Gospel Sunday, a competition which will determine the best choir in Alabama. The choir’s success is built largely around their lead singer, Rosie (Toni Braxton).

When Rosie, a divorcee, who lives with her 11 year old son, Langston, and Uncle Mo, sees a forlorn Jacob sitting on the steps of the church, she is afraid, but offers to let him sleep that night on a cot in the tool room in the church basement.

Notwithstanding Rosie’s fears, Mo and the Church Minister allow Jacob to live in the tool room in exchange for janitorial work at the Church. Although barely speaking, Jacob bonds with Mo and Langston. Rosie’s reticence is slowly replaced with curiosity and compassion. When Rosie realizes Jacob is a good piano player with an excellent voice, Jacob becomes a member of the choir, performing at Sunday church services and begins practicing with them for the Gospel Sunday Competition. Jacob finishes his song Narrow Bridge, which Rosie insists she and he perform as a duet at the competition. Their stunning performance at Gospel Sunday propels them to an incredible upset victory.

After Jacob reveals his tragic story, Rosie, at Mo’s insistence, travels to Brooklyn to inform Jacob’s mother, Hava, that her son is alive and together, Rosie and Have return to Brent to bring Jacob home.

Ultimately, however, Jacob’s heart now resides in Alabama and together, Jacob and Rosie fuse their two traditions into a moving combination of gospel and Jewish liturgy.