KSL Movie Show Review: ‘Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot’ is inspirational

Jul 5, 2024, 11:59 AM


Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — When I was a young man, I worked at a firehouse. It was right next door to a Southern Baptist Church. My constant thought on hearing the rousing Gospel music was – man, are they having a good time in there or what!

What turned out to be just as interesting was their sense of community. They looked out for each other. I thought what better way to express their devotion than making sure everybody was okay?

Those thoughts came flooding back as I watched “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot.” It features a small town in East Texas in 1996. The town had a big problem with abandoned children – lost to neglect, poverty or abuse.

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The local child protective services, led in part by Susan Ramsey (Elizabeth Mitchell) was constantly looking for foster families to take in these poor kids, with little success. Until one day, Pastor Martin’s wife Donna (Nina King) reeling from the grief of her own mother’s recent passing, felt inspired to be the kind of mother she had learned to be by example.

Donna and her sister went down to the state agency to see what they could do to help. Donna already had two children, one with special needs, and her sister thought she was crazy to want to take on any more. Even her Reverend husband WC (Demetrius Grosse) was against the idea, suggesting they didn’t have enough to take care of their own family, much less bring in new mouths to feed.

But when he meets two young foster kids and the little girl rushes into his arms with a relieved sense of security, he melts (me along with him) and that was it. He was hooked. He takes this new-found revelation to his little congregation at Bennett Chapel and convinces several other families, all poor and struggling, to take on these children — 77 in total.

Susan Ramsey was shocked and amazed when 22 families signed up to take on these kids, some of them deeply troubled. The motto in the area then becomes – not one single child will be left out.

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That will certainly be put to the test when the Martins take on Terri (Diaana Babnicova). She is as broken and rebellious as a teenage girl can be. It’s at the point where Susan does not want to place her with the Martins. What if it goes badly? They were the shining examples of the system working. If this placement goes sideways, the whole program could crumble.

It was a risk the Martins were willing to take. Oh boy, were they ever put through the ringer with this dynamic, but traumatized young woman.

Inspiring? In truckloads. Feels genuine? No question.

Yes I know I said “Young Woman and the Sea” was the inspirational movie of the year. But we may have another candidate for that lofty position and it’s called – Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot.” It’s really that good.

SOUND OF HOPE: THE STORY OF POSSUM TROT (B+) Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving child abuse, some violence, language and brief suggestive material. Starring Nika King, Demetrius Grosse, Elizabeth Mitchell, Diaana Babnicova and Jillian Reeves. Co-written and directed by Joshua Weigel in his feature film debut. Filmed in Georgia; distributed by Angel Studios. Running time: 129 min.   

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show Review: ‘Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot’ is inspirational