Heart of This Place

In rural England, a father and his two sons run the family business. But their relationships are torn apart when the youngest son rebels by maneuvering to undercut his father and brother for his own gain. His betrayal forces the family to discover the limits of their own faith in one another, and how far they will go to restore it.

Filmed entirely on location in Bedfordshire and London, England, “Heart of This Place” is the first scripted short film from The Salvation Army’s Share Change team. “Heart of This Place” is a modern day retelling of the beautiful parable of the prodigal son. The project has come from a special place in the hearts of our team, and we hope you enjoy it and share it with those you know.  

Read the transcript of the video here:

Father/Peter: Oh my boy, don’t know where you are. Please come home… Please.

Son #1/Ethan: Don’t sign it dad…

Son #2/Ben: I thought you wanted what was best for me.

Son #1/Ethan: Come on…

Father signs document, Son #2/Ben signs document.

Son #2/Ben: When do I get the transfer?

Lawyer: Wednesday, maybe Thursday.

Son #2/Ben: Yeah, good.

Son #1/Ethan: You killed him. You know that…You killed him!

Father/Peter: Let him go, Ben.

Son #1/Ethan leaves on a motorcycle. Father watches him leave with Son #2/Ben.

Scene changes to Son #1/Ethan at a club. Drinking, laughing, dancing ensues. Son #1/Ethan leaves the club with two women. 

Scene changes to Son #2/Ben chopping wood.

Father/Peter: Leaving a voicemail. Ethan, it’s your dad. I’m not calling to talk about the other day. I just wanted to check to see how you were.” 

Scenes of Son #1/Ethan: On a motorcycle with a woman, at the club dancing and binge drinking, and throwing up in a public restroom.

Scene changes back to Son #2/Ben gathering wood.

Lawyer: Look Peter, we are in business together…

Father/Peter: But you’ve got to understand…

Lawyer: Nope, no, no this is what I’m asking … Just let me finish OK? Let me finish.

Father/Peter: Leaving a voicemail. “And listen, don’t worry about what Ben said. He was just angry. He cares about you. Call me back.” 

Scene of Son #2/Ben loading up the car with wood cut with a scene of Son #1/Ethan wandering the streets at night. Scenes are contrasted with one another.

Father/Peter: Leaving a voicemail. Hello son, I was just remembering when you were a little one when we went to the coast. I remember running around the beach with you and you were climbing all over the rocks like a maniac. Your mother couldn’t believe I let you. But then, you always were an adventurer. Things are OK here. I hope you’re safe.” 

Scenes of Son #1/Ethan at clubs, partaking in drug use. Scene of Son #2/Ben and Father/Peter eating dinner together. 

Lawyer: It’s not settling it, it’s not enough! Do you not understand, this is not a hobby. This is business and I do not need to be out here on the weekend having conversations about this with you… Look… (speech fades out)

Scenes of Son #1/Ethan partying, using drugs, and stumbling through dark alleys. 

Father/Peter: “Will you let me know where you are? We could come and meet you. Oh my boy, don’t know where you are. Please come home… Please.” 

Scene of Son #2/Ben chopping wood aggressively. Scene of Son #1/Ethan waking up in an unknown location. 

Scene of Father/Peter drinking his morning coffee, looking out into the empty field as he sees a figure making its way toward him.

Father/Peter runs toward the figure, it’s Son #1/Ethan. They embrace and cry together. 

Son #2/Ben comes home to see his brother’s motorcycle in the driveway. He comes inside to a room full of people, including his father and brother.

Son #2/Ben: Perfect.

Son #2/Ben leaves the party. Father/Peter follows him outside. 

Son #2/Ben: You remember what he did to us? Right?

Father/Peter: Of course I remember. Ben, I know how you feel…

Son #1/Ethan watches his brother and father argue outside through the window.

Father/Peter: This isn’t going to do any good is it? Ben…Ben!

Son #2/Ben: What?! Ben Ben Ben Ben Ben…What?!

Father/Peter: I want you to understand. 

Son #2/Ben: I’m here. I’m looking after you. I’m working…

Father/Peter: Ben … Ben! He’s your brother! Ben, please!

Son #2/Ben: It’s fine dad. Go on and enjoy your son. 

Son #2/Ben rides away on a motorcycle. Scenes cut between Son #2/Ben riding fast through the countryside and his father waiting for him to return with a melancholic face toward the door. 

Father/Peter: (Speaking to party guests) I was just thinking… We spend our lives longing for this idea of home. This nostalgic place where our soul finds rest, love, and forgiveness. That is home. The refusal to forgive cannot coexist with love. Without love, our search for home is futile. We don’t see it. So, we keep searching. We keep yearning. We forgive. We love.

Son #2/Ben crashes his motorcycle. His body lays motionless on the ground. 

Father/Peter: (Raising a toast) To my sons. To forgiveness. To love. And the search for home.

Fade to black

Directed by Jeff Prahl

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