Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot movie review (2024)
Movie Reviews

Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot movie review (2024)

The titular Possum Trot is, of course, the setting of this based-on-a-true-story tale, a majority-Black small town in East Texas fueled by its vibrant Baptist church, led by charismatic reverend W.C. Martin (Demetrius Grosse). His “First Lady,” Donna (Nika King), struggles to keep her head above water with two children and piling bills. And yet, in a moment of utmost turmoil, she hears God’s voice whistling through the trees. She’s been called, she says; she wants to adopt more kids. “Human ones?” W.C. barks skeptically. Still, they press on, moved by a Biblical urge to serve the needy.

It’s a move that baffles Susan Ramsey (Elizabeth Mitchell), a caseworker jaundiced by the system’s inability to help the many kids in Texas’ foster system. But she sees the opportunity and lets the Martins adopt several kids from broken homes — the most at-risk of them includes Terri (Diaana Babnicova), a traumatized teen who comes to them pretending to be a cat. Her quirks are played for laughs, at least at first, but blessedly, director Terry Weigel (who also writes the script alongside wife Rebekah) manage to balance the scales with no small amount of pathos.

The Martins’ story inspires the rest of the town to adopt, and soon after, 77 kids come to stay with the residents of Possum Trot. From here, “Story of Hope” settles into a generally heartwarming family drama narrative, as the townspeople discover the joys and pitfalls of taking on such an altruistic mission. Sure, it feels good and Christian to take on so many at-risk kids, and the Black church community circles around each other to help out. But as bills pile up, so do tensions, as Donna, in particular, struggles to deal with the many traumas and triggers of the children she’s taken under her wing. 

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