Pete de Jaeger is a successful South African businessman who never before considered the plight of the underground Christian church in the Middle East until he is forced to watch it play out before his eyes. However, his girlfriend is skeptical of Asian persecution of Christians as she embarks to complete a news story on the modernization and Westernization of China. Yet together, the two of them discover worlds they never thought existed as they try to help their fellow Christians around the world.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
As an early 2000s, limited resources production, The Eastern Bride is fairly good. Though it begins with some blurry video quality, this improves throughout. Some camera work is also shaky at first and changes for the better. Audio quality is fine throughout the soundtrack makes attempts to be culturally authentic. The best portion of this production are the realistic and accurate sets, locations, and props, since this was likely difficult to pull off. Yet editing is a concern as there is a lot of disjointed content here. But in the end, this is at least an average production.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Though this story likely means well and has a lot of potential, it’s difficult to understand at times. Is it about persecution in China or persecution in the Middle East? It’s likely about both, but cramming them both into one film is ill-advised. There is too much random, meandering content that makes the film take a while to get to the point. As it is, there are too many ideas to fit into the short runtime. While it seems like the characters begin to be developed and are mostly believable, we don’t get to see enough of them, mostly because there are too many to introduce into this short of a story. This is a large-scale idea that needed at least two different movies to support it. It could also be a series, especially since the ending comes off as very unfinished. In summary, it’s clear that the writers meant well and knew what they were talking about; it’s possible that they didn’t know just how big of an idea they had here.
Acting Quality (2 points)
As usual for the Open Doors International films, the cast of The Eastern Bride is culturally authentic and mostly well-coached. At times, however, the cast members can be too practiced in their line delivery and emotional delivery. Yet this is a very good, above-average effort all around.
Ideas like The Eastern Bride, Bamboo in Winter, and Behind the Sun are much bigger than their movies allow them to be. What if each of these ideas took place in a mini-series format? If the budget made it possible, the impact would be much larger. But then again, the same could be said for many lost-in-the-shuffle Christian films. Perhaps one day ideas like these will be brought back out and improved through better funding and plot writing.
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points