Children of God (Movie)

2 Min Read
Title — Children of God
Available on — The Roku Channel, Freevee, Cineverse
Production Country — United Kingdom
Release Date — 1994
A former member examines the lingering effects of being raised in the Family, a cult whose disturbing practices include the sexual abuse of children.

🪶 Story & Synopsis

“Children of God” is a 2010 Bahamian romantic drama film directed and written by Kareem Mortimer. The movie delves into the lives of three individuals whose worlds collide, showcasing a tapestry of love, race, politics, religion, and homophobia.

The central plot revolves around the burgeoning love between Romeo, a young black man hiding his sexuality, and Jonny, a conflicted white artist. Their relationship unfolds against the backdrop of Lena, a conservative and deeply religious wife married to a secretly gay firebrand pastor. As their lives intertwine, the film navigates the complexities of their intersecting identities and the societal pressures they face.

Director Kareem Mortimer aimed to tell a love story at the core of “Children of God,” while also weaving in elements of political and social commentary. The film explores themes of fear and violence, highlighting how these forces can work together to destroy individuals.

While some viewers appreciated the depth and complexity of the characters and their relationships, others hoped for a deeper exploration of the political and social themes presented in the film. The tension between love and societal expectations is palpable throughout the narrative, drawing viewers into the emotional journey of the characters.

With a runtime of 1 hour and 44 minutes, “Children of God” captivates audiences with its poignant storytelling, compelling performances by the talented cast including Johnny Ferro, Margaret Laurena Kemp, Stephen Tyrone Williams, Van Brown, Mark Richard Ford, and Craig Pinder, and a captivating musical score by Nathan Matthew David.

Set against the backdrop of the Bahamas, the film paints a vivid picture of love, struggle, and resilience in the face of adversity. “Children of God” is a thought-provoking exploration of identity, love, and the complexities of human relationships, leaving a lasting impact on those who experience its powerful storytelling.

🧑 Cast & Crew

Actor Role
Johnny Ferro Jonny Roberts
Margaret Laurena Kemp Lena Mackey
Stephen Tyrone Williams Romeo Fernander
Van Brown Reverend Clyde Ritchie
Mark Richard Ford Ralph Mackey
Craig Pinder Mike Roberts
Sylvia Adams Grammy Rose
Aijalon Coley Omar Mackey
Jay Lance Gotlieb Angry Driver
Jason Elwood Hanna Purple
Christopher Herrod Dr. Mark Wells
Juanita Kelly Lonnette Adderley
Adela Osterloh Romeo’s Mother
Leslie Vanderpool Rhoda Ritchie
Christine Wilson Anna Ross
Conrad Knowles Romeo’s true friend

💬 Reviews and feedback

Picture this: a film that’s less of a story and more of a statement, like that one friend who always has something profound to say but never quite gets to the point. “Children of God” falls into this category, so if you’re seeking serious character development or a structured plot, you might want to skip this one. However, if you’re intrigued by how the issue of equal rights can be tackled in an environment where political correctness offers no shield, then this movie is right up your alley.

Now, let’s dive into the world of “Children of God.” The film revolves around Sylvia Padilla and her children who lived within the controversial cult known as Children of God for 18 years. After Sylvia escapes the group, disturbing allegations of sexual and financial exploitation surface. Despite these accusations, the global organization vehemently denies any wrongdoing and continues to thrive.

While character development may not be this film’s strong suit, it shines in shedding light on pressing societal issues. The narrative prompts viewers to ponder over how equality can be achieved when conventional norms fail to protect individuals.

Themes and Tone:

  • Themes: “Children of God” delves into themes of power dynamics, exploitation, and resilience in the face of adversity. It challenges viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about society’s darker underbelly.
  • Tone: The tone oscillates between somber reflection and moments of stark reality. It doesn’t shy away from portraying harsh truths but also offers glimpses of hope amidst despair.

Acting and Characters:

The performances in “Children of God” are marked by sincerity and raw emotion. While the characters may not undergo significant arcs, the actors manage to infuse authenticity into their portrayals. Each character serves as a vessel for broader societal commentary rather than individual growth.

Cinematography and Production Design:

  • Cinematography: Ian Bloom’s cinematography elevates the film with its tactile quality. The visuals capture both the beauty and brutality of the narrative, immersing viewers in the characters’ turbulent world.
  • Production Design: The production design effectively sets the stage for the unfolding drama. From cult hideouts to stark landscapes, each setting enhances the storytelling by reflecting the characters’ internal struggles.

Binge-watching Tips:

If you’re planning to watch “Children of God,” brace yourself for an emotionally intense experience. Take breaks between scenes to process the heavy themes presented in the film. Engage in post-viewing discussions with friends or online forums to delve deeper into its implications on society.

Rating: 7/10

In conclusion, “Children of God” may not offer traditional storytelling elements, but it serves as a poignant exploration of societal injustices and human resilience. Dive into this thought-provoking narrative with an open mind, allowing its message to resonate long after the credits roll.

Pros Cons
Addresses equal rights issue Lacks serious character development
Raises awareness about controversial cults Weak story structure
Sincere performances Formulaic elements
Stunningly tactile photography Not well-received by all critics


  • Children of God (film) - Wikipedia

    • March 13, 2010 (Miami Film Festival)

    Running time

    104 minutes Country Bahamas Language English

    Children of Godis a 2010 Bahamian romantic drama film by director and screenwriter Kareem Mortimer.It tells the story of two young Bahamian men who fall in love with each other, and it portrays the homophobia of the Bahamian society. The film also deals with themes of bisexuality, as a romantic drama film.

  • Children of God (2010) - IMDb

    This film tells the story of a shy white guy in Bahamas, who is bullied and outcast because of his homosexuality. He meets a handsome man during a trip to find inspiration for his paintings, and his life is changed forever.It is probably the first time that I watch a film from the Bahamas, and I am fully blown away. First, the technical aspects are great. I can see they used really good equipment. The picture quality is sharp, and the shot of the moon is just so clear. The lens just for that shot must have cost a fortune! Second, the story is very intense. There are two stories, one main story about the white guy, and the other story about the church clergyman. These subplots dive deep into a land where being gay is hard. The active homophobia spread by some sectors of the society shatters lives in paradise. As one of the characters say, he spreads homophobia because it gives people a reason to unite. It is very sad but true.I truly enjoyed watching “Children of God””. I have not expected the level of complexity and depth shown in this intense film, and I really hope it will find more audiences.

  • Watch Children of God (2010) - Free Movies | Tubi

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    Children of God

    You’ll be notified via email when this becomes availableIn this story set in the Bahamas, two young men fall in love and the homophobic wife of a preacher grapples with her husband’s secret life.Subtitles: English

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  • Children of God streaming: where to watch online? - JustWatch

    Currently you are able to watch “Children of God” streaming on Cineverse for free with ads.Johnny is an art student in Nassau whose technique is perfect, but he’s creatively blocked. His teacher sends him off to the rural island of Eleuthera where he meets Romeo, a hot musician. They begin a clumsy dance of attraction and romance. Romeo has a fiancé and is identified as straight, but he’s been known to play with the boys on the side secretly. The Bahamas are bound by religious traditions that discourage homosexuality and end up forcing gay men into the closet. These characters are all bound together in this intense drama of love, family and secrets.Drama, Romance

  • Children of God- Official Trailer - YouTube

⚠️ Explanation (Spoiler)

Let’s dive into the world of “Children of God,” a 2010 Bahamian romantic drama film directed by Kareem Mortimer that bravely explores the themes of love, homosexuality, and societal homophobia. The movie follows the intertwined lives of Jonny, Romeo, and Lena as they navigate their personal struggles and relationships in the backdrop of the beautiful but conflicted Bahamian society.

The story kicks off with Jonny, an aspiring painting student, being sent to the tranquil island of Eleuthera to find his artistic voice. There, he meets Romeo, a charismatic local who becomes Jonny’s guide to the island’s scenic spots and eventually his love interest. However, Romeo is in a relationship with a girlfriend and has a mother who refuses to acknowledge his true self, adding layers of complexity to their budding romance.

Meanwhile, Lena, a pastor’s wife disillusioned by her husband’s hypocritical anti-gay stance in public versus his private life, seeks solace in Eleuthera to contemplate her future. As the paths of Jonny, Romeo, and Lena intertwine, they embark on emotional and physical journeys that challenge their beliefs and redefine their perspectives on love and acceptance.

The movie delves into the concept of “Children of God,” a religious term symbolizing human divinity as all God’s children, reflecting the characters’ struggles with self-acceptance and societal judgment. Set in 2004 amidst the backdrop of a Caribbean shaken by debates on homosexuality triggered by events like Rosie O’Donnell’s gay family cruise ship, the film captures the tensions and divisions within the community.

Tragically, Jonny’s story takes a heartbreaking turn when he is killed by a closeted homosexual on his way to meet Romeo, shattering any hopes of a happy ending. This poignant event serves as a stark reminder of the harsh realities faced by many in the LGBTQ+ community, where love and acceptance often come at a steep price.

The stellar cast brings the characters to life with their nuanced performances:

  • Johnny Ferro portrays Jonny Roberts, the young artist seeking his place in the world.
  • Margaret Laurena Kemp embodies Lena Mackey, a conservative pastor’s wife grappling with her beliefs.
  • Stephen Tyrone Williams breathes life into Romeo Fernander, the charming local torn between love and societal expectations.
  • Van Brown, Mark Richard Ford, Craig Pinder, and the rest of the cast deliver compelling performances that enrich the narrative.

“Children of God” stands out as a pioneering film from the Caribbean that fearlessly addresses themes of love, identity, and discrimination. Through its moving storytelling and powerful character arcs, the movie invites viewers to reflect on the complexities of human relationships and the enduring struggle for acceptance in a world rife with prejudice.

👪 Parents Guide & Age Rating


Age Rating:

“Children of God” is rated R for disturbing aberrant sexual content, nudity, language, and some violence. This rating indicates that the movie may contain material that is not suitable for viewers under 17 without parental guidance.

Parental Guide:

Parents should be aware of the following content in “Children of God” to make an informed decision about allowing their children to watch the movie:

  • Violence & Scariness: The movie graphically depicts disturbing content, including violence.
  • Sex, Romance & Nudity: The main character engages in disturbing behavior, including necrophilia, with depictions of nudity.
  • Language: Strong, frequent, and angry language is used throughout the movie.
  • Drinking, Drugs & Smoking: No explicit content related to drinking, drugs, or smoking is present in the movie.

Due to the mature themes and content, “Children of God” is recommended for adult viewers or mature teenagers with parental guidance.

📺 Streaming and where to watch

streaming service extra information
The Roku Channel Currently you are able to watch ‘Children of God’ streaming on The Roku Channel for free with ads.
Freevee Currently you are able to watch ‘Children of God’ streaming on Freevee for free with ads.
Cineverse Currently you are able to watch ‘Children of God’ streaming on Cineverse for free with ads.

❝ Quotes and Cult

  • Do you think there's someplace where we can meet that's not in silence and not in sound?
    William Hurt - James Leeds
  • Language skills can be dangerous, so use a little common sense.
    William Hurt - James Leeds

🤖Children of God Reddit Talks

Biblical Accuracy of “Son of God”

Despite its claim of biblical accuracy, the movie “Son of God” has been criticized for its inaccuracies. However, it is acknowledged that for those unfamiliar with the Bible, the movie may provide an introduction to the Gospel story.

“Child of God” Adaptation

James Franco’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel “Child of God” has received mixed reviews. While some praise the lead actor’s performance, others criticize the film for lacking the novel’s dark atmosphere and visual appeal.

Cult Depictions

The movie “Children of God” depicts the notorious cult of the same name, which was known for its disturbing and abusive treatment of children. The film explores the cult’s practices and the lasting impact on its victims.

Lester Ballard’s Fate

In the novel “Child of God,” Lester Ballard is imprisoned in a mental hospital without being convicted of a crime. After his death, his body is sent to a medical school for dissection. This raises questions about the treatment of the mentally ill and the ethical implications of using human bodies for scientific research.

Morbid Curiosity

Despite its negative reviews, “Child of God” has garnered morbid curiosity among viewers. Some express a desire to watch the film out of a fascination with its dark subject matter, while others question the value of such morbid entertainment.

Comparison to the Novel

The movie adaptation of “Child of God” is seen as inferior to the source material. Critics argue that the film lacks the depth, complexity, and disturbing atmosphere of the novel, making it a disappointing adaptation.

James Franco’s Role

James Franco’s performance as Lester Ballard is both praised and criticized. Some find his portrayal effective and unsettling, while others believe he is miscast and unable to capture the character’s essence.

Cult Documentary

A documentary on the Children of God cult has shed light on the abusive practices and psychological manipulation employed by the group. This documentary has raised awareness about the dangers of cults and the importance of protecting vulnerable individuals.

Personal Experiences

Some Reddit users have shared their personal experiences with the Children of God cult, providing firsthand accounts of the group’s harmful practices. These stories highlight the devastating impact of cults on individuals and families.

Top discussions

❓ Frequently Asked Questions

What is the movie Children of God about?

The movie “Children of God” follows the story of Sylvia Padilla and her children who lived within the controversial cult known as Children of God for 18 years. After fleeing the group, allegations of sexual and financial exploitation emerged.

What is Children of God on Netflix about?

Any Christian watching it will find “Son of God” to be accurate and believable, worth watching. The actor portraying Jesus does an exceptional job, earning the movie a rating of seven stars out of ten.

Where was the Child of God movie filmed?

The film adaptation of Child of God was shot in Hillsboro, West Virginia. The movie stars Scott Haze as Lester Ballard and Jim Parrack as the Sevier County lawman Deputy Cotton.

What is the children of God documentary on Netflix?

This documentary profiles the Padilla family, former members of The Children of God cult, who allegedly endured severe mental and sexual abuse at the hands of the group’s leaders.

What is the Son of God movie all about?

“Son of God” is a 2014 American epic biblical film directed by Christopher Spencer, produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. It portrays the story of Jesus.

Where was Children of God filmed?

The movie “Children of God” was filmed in the Bahamas in 2010.

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