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Love Bonds (2018 feature film)

Notes from Robert Bruce about the making of "Love Bonds"

The feature film "Love Bonds" came about from a number of creative streams converging into one large project; to date, the largest project I've ever completed.  If you take the film in context it successfully reaches the goals that were set out when the project was conceived.  Being my first feature film, naturally there were many sharp learning curves.  I will certainly make my next feature with many of the things I learned in mind.  And also, being completely self-financed, there were obvious limitations there as well; working with a fraction of what the budget should have been, I simply didn't have the resources and conveniences that most films would absolutely need to even attempt to go forward and start production.  But even so, the film, with perhaps a few rough edges (but only a few), comes across pretty much as I wanted it to.  

Overall one has to accept as deliberate the fact that the film moves along in a very slow, reflective, almost meditative pace.  That was certainly intentional.  I believe I created something of a new genre in that the music sometimes takes over the narrative.  In those sections the film becomes more abstract and decidedly multi-media in character.  And then it will switch back to regular scenes with recognizable acting, dialogue, etc.  I, for one, am very fond of how this flows and comes off...  Unfortunate how practically everyone in the broadcast and film festival worlds were either thrown off or put off by this.

To me the story worked out very well and it makes a lot of sense.  So much so that I was amazed when it all came together.  All of the elements fit... Here's a synopsis:

Love Bonds Story Synopsis:

Clare Donovan has just moved to a suburb of Toronto with her husband, Jason, and daughter, Veronica, as Jason has just landed a job teaching at a university.  As Clare loves to sing and has always sung in church choirs, she wasted no time in joining a new choir in Toronto at a Catholic church, the religion she was born into and has basically stayed in her whole life.  

After being accepted into the new choir and starting to sing in regular Masses on Sunday, she starts to have, what she eventually learns are, past life visions.  These happen when she looks at Maya, the director of the choir.  As this unusual occurrence happens every week, she gets extremely rattled and just stops going to sing in the choir altogether.  But the visions continue to haunt her and she does her best to try to find out what they are, first by talking with an old friend who shared some unexplainable events with her in university, and then by talking with the priest of her former parish, whom she had known for many years and always felt was approachable.  When both of these avenues become dead ends, she becomes quite despondent.  

Things move along when she gets a nudge to start reading about metaphysical subjects, which are totally new to her.  Then she runs into Maya, the choir director, by chance and is very surprized to find that not only does Maya have considerably more information on these subjects than anyone else she has ever known, but, it turns out, Maya is also part of her story, and was present in her past life visions.  Clare ultimately goes through a transformation to gain a wider understanding of why those visions came to her, and although she experiences resistance from numerous sources, including her husband, Jason, a permanent change takes hold and she feels a very healthy growth occur in her life.

Conclusion and Other Observations:

"Love Bonds" is a successful and worthwhile project for several reasons: 1) It shows the awkwardness that can take place when some kind of spiritual growth or expansion of consciousness occurs in a person's life; 2) It shows quite realistically how people one is familiar with will sometimes resist and/or resent one of their own experiencing change or personal growth; 3) It's no secret that Christianity in general doesn't support the concepts of karma and reincarnation.  So when one is confronted with the reality of these aspects of life, it's anyone's guess how things will play out or what the church leaders will say when you ask them about such matters.  And, on this last point; 4) as I was an organist in a Catholic Church for well over 20 years, it's an ironic twist that the Mass Setting I composed towards the end of my time working there is among the musical selections that suggest, or, more accurately, demonstrate, that music can transcend any limited state we are in on Earth.  Music is used throughout the whole film, as a kind of calling or guiding light that encourages anyone to reach for a higher truth.  That is nothing new per se, but I'm very pleased that this film upholds that philosophy in such an obvious and deliberate way; 5) the parellels between the modern day scenes and the past life 1800s scenes are also noteworthy.  The same characters are present in both lifetimes, they are drawn together in a similar setting (church, church choirs), have similar character traits, and their time together plays out in a similar way in both eras.  These, to me, reflect in some way (only as an example, not as a general rule) how episodes in various lifetimes can actually play out.

There are other elements that came together nicely in the making of "Love Bonds" but you can see them yourself if you watch the film.  It will be available shortly on one of the streaming services.

In conclusion, the message of the film is that personal growth and greater awareness are always right at hand, but they are not likely to come easy or without some effort and, perhaps, growing pains.  It's not suggested that all books on metaphysical topics are worthwhile or enlightening, but certainly the more responsible but lesser-known paths, such as Eckankar, are given a mention here (as is Theosophy, Taoism and a few others) simply to suggest the information is out there.  One of the lines in the film is "all sincere religions are like a series of steps leading higher and higher..."

Thanks for your interest,

Robert Bruce