In the film “Unconditional,” Samantha Crawford (played superbly by Lynn Collins) lives a storybook life: she’s happily married, living on a beautiful ranch where she boards her beloved horse, and the stories she’s told and illustrated since childhood have become popular published books. She experiences God’s love and His goodness all around her. But in an instant everything changes when her husband  (Diego Klattenhoff) is killed in a senseless act of violence. When the police come to dead ends and begin writing off the case, Sam can’t come to grips with Billy’s murderer roaming the streets as a free man. Her faith – and her will to live – is quickly fading. A death-defying encounter with two children (Kwesi Boakye and Gabriella Phillips) changes everything. Coming to their rescue not only begins a new friendship, it also leads to an unexpected reunion with Joe Bradford (excellent performance by Michael Ealy), her oldest friend from childhood.

Seeing the impact Joe has on so many people begins to open Sam’s heart to the possibility that she can rebuild her life. But when evidence indicates Billy’s killer is too close for comfort, Sam’s fragile newfound hope is severely tested.

What unfolds is an inspiring drama about the power of an outward focus compared to an inward one. The film is based on the true story of Papa Joe, who, with his wife, founded Elijah’s Heart, a non-profit organization designed to help children in need. “Unconditional” features inspired acting from the entire cast and tight directing from Brent McCorkle. McCorkle’s earlier work includes the award-winning short The Rift, at The Doorpost Film Project, and it is good seeing him move on to quality feature filmmaking. “Unconditional” will move you and motivate you. Check it out

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