A man is trying to confess about his sins to a priest. He has been cheating on his wife for the last 18 years. And it turns out he is not a believer either. He is doing it for his dying wife who is in a coma. But before he finishes his admission he has one last sin to confess: he plans to put an end to his wife’s suffering and he is looking for forgiveness in advance.
Douglas Fender’s film is sensitive and troubling at the same time. The main character in ‘Dying to Forgive’ is struggling between his own guilt and sins and looking for redemption for his sick wife. She is in fact mirroring not only his sins through her ‘absence’ but she is also his punishment. It is interesting, though, that Douglas Fender’s character is not perceiving this as a punishment for his own deeds but he is in change deeply concerned about the suffering of his spouse.
‘Dying to Forgive’ is a tough story about faith – or the lack of it – but about strong conscience as well. The film’s protagonist has a fair judgement beyond his apparent sinful character: he condemns himself more than anyone around him and beyond any religious dogma and he finds no punishment great enough to wash his mistakes. The extreme gesture he is ready to make cumbers his heart both because of the strong love he bears for his beloved one and because he will never get the chance to ask for forgiveness.
Douglas Fender’s film is intense, dramatic, sensitive and disturbing as well by the heaviness of the main character’s decision to end his wife’s life and the courage to confront the issue with the church’s religious perspective over the issue. The main actor mesmerises with his interpretation of pain, breaking any preconception over the public’s judgement on his character’s ‘non-spiritual’ nature while cinematography narrates the story in games of different lighting sets sketching the conflict of faith in nuances of clear-obscure.
Douglas Fender’s ‘Dying to Forgive’ won’t leave its viewers indifferent; on the contrary, sensitive and open-minded as it is, it will stir contemplation and haunt the viewers’ minds, it will approach its public straightforward and will force them to empathise and broaden their perspective over things.