Loss, Remorse And Hope

Bruce Von Stiers

Dark Hearts is a drama about parents who are trying to deal with the disappearance of their young daughter.

The production companies behind Dark Hearts are Charmed Productions and Goreella Media. The film has a runtime of just under twenty minutes.

Eileen Grubba stars as the mom Kelly. Aside from film roles, Eileen has guest starred in shows such as New Amsterdam, All Rise, Stumptown and S.W.A.T. Eileen was also a producer for the film. Brian Gleason stars as Kelly's husband Sean. He has had roles in Crazy Heart, The Passing and Yellow Rock.

Hunter A Johnson and Rocco Polanco have cameo roles in the film as does Judy Grubba Goldsworthy and Delores Grubba. The film was directed by Kevin Van Stevenson. His credits include directing On The Brain and Baby Girl.

As it is with a lot of smaller productions, there are crew members who fill multiple roles on this film. Nanette D'Aquila, Ronda Waidman, Brock Waidman and a few others helped out in a lot of different ways on the film.

I should mention that Eileen is an advocate for people with disabilities. Her television and film roles are often characters with some type of disability or "flaw." Per Eileen, the films that she produces create “opportunity, experience, credits and visibility for people with disabilities in front of and behind the camera.”

The film opens up to a man in a room in his house. There are things that have been thrown around and other things broken in the room. He looks around the room as an argument, apparently one that had happened earlier is being heard in the background. He picks up a picture of a little girl and murmurs something about missing the child.

The viewer soon learns that the child is missing, presumed either kidnapped or dead. And that the parents are devastated. The father, Sean, is trying to be strong, but doesn't have much hope. And the mother, Kelly, besides having put flyers about the missing child, supplements her grief by drinking. Kelly has been doing AA meetings, but it doesn't seem to be working for her.

Kelly believes that their daughter is secretly sending messages to them through the ladybugs that they keep seeing around. Sean doesn't believe that. In fact, he thinks that it is just another coping mechanism that Kelly is using in her grief. But ladybugs do play a large role later in the film. Also, something daunting is revealed regarding the disappearance of the daughter.

When my son was very young, I lost him in a department store for several minutes. I remember the panic, anxiety and remorse I felt until he was found. I can't even fathom having had him disappear for a length of time, let alone the possibility of him never returning or being dead. And that's exactly what the characters in this film were enduring. Anxiety, loss and remorse.

Dark Hearts was a well-acted drama that dealt with addiction, loss, remorse and hope. To me, it was thought provoking as I don't know how I'd react if something horrific like this happened to my family.

Dark Hearts will have a World Premiere at the Idyllwild International Cinema Festival in March of 2021.

To learn more about the film and its cast and crew, visit the film's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/darkheartsmovie/

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© 2021 Bruce E Von Stiers