“When the LORD began to speak through Hosea, the LORD said to him, ‘Go, marry a promiscuous woman and have children with her, for like an adulterous wife this land is guilty of unfaithfulness to the LORD.’ So he married Gomer daughter of Diblaim, and she conceived and bore him a son” (Hosea 1:2-3).
This passage is the basis for “Of Minor Prophets,” a movie directed by Northwestern alum Joe Hubers and written by NW theatre professor Jeff Barker. The journey of creating “Of Minor Prophets” began in January 2006.
“We knew this would be a feature length film,” Barker said.
It took a while for Barker and Hubers to acquire a set amount of money to even write the story. After Barker finished a draft of the script, the team was once again left with no money to move forward. For the next few years, the process was very on-again, off-again.
The film finally wrapped up in the summer of 2014. Since then it has played at a variety of film festivals and won one award. On April 10, the film was played at the first annual Sioux Empire Film Festival. This was the movie’s last film festival, as it will soon be released online.
Though “Of Minor Prophets” is not a literal interpretation of the story of Hosea, the plot does focus around the idea of a godly man marrying a prostitute.
“One of the biggest details we had to work out was whether or not we would make God a character or not,” Barker said. “Would he be a force or a voice or not present at all?”
The story begins with Doug, a bachelor farmer, falling in love with a prostitute named Ami. Doug falls for Ami before he knows her background, but once he finds out she is in fact a prostitute, he chooses to overlook it. Even after Ami takes his money and runs away with it, he is still willing to forgive her and take her back. The entire story is filled with hidden themes and connections to the biblical story of Hosea.
“There are many different pieces of betrayal and con,” Barker said. “Doug is a willing participant in Ami’s schemes without realizing it.”
When creating the characters for this film, both Barker and Hubers wanted to make sure Ami was not the typical leading lady. They wanted the audience to clearly see that, just like Gomer, Ami didn’t have a pretty heart of gold. She is a character with a rough background and a difficult future. The plot is centered around her struggles and how she interacts with them.
Barker wrote several endings to the film, two of which were very tidy, but in the end, the directors chose to display life as it truly is: stuff happens and people deal with it. The answers and solutions may not always be clear, but it is left up to the audience to determine what the fate of the characters is.