Dark Sunday begins with a well-meaning preacher, James Lowery, taking homeless and substance addicted children into his home. Often at odds with the local police force, an organization that prizes names and incriminating information over rehabilitation, Lowery has a clear policy with his wards that they need not confess any information they feel uncomfortable with divulging. When Lowery is severely injured and his family is killed by a gang of drug dealers connected with the very police force he finds himself disagreeing with, Lowery begins to seek vengeance.
Dark Sunday portrays a distinctly Appalachian city from several perspectives – from the attendees of Reverend Lowery’s church, dressed in their Sunday best, to heroin addicts living on the streets, to corrupt law enforcement officers, the film provides insight into a variety of lives and viewpoints, questioning the inherent morality of each. As one street man declares to Lowery while offering a Bible in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other: “I can offer you fire for your stomach, or serenity for your soul,” a statement that surmises the wide range of social roles occupied by characters within the film. When Lowery’s injury leaves him unable to speak, his own role as a preacher is subverted; no longer in possession of his previously well heeded vocalizations, Lowery turns vigilante, acting out his desires rather than voicing them. Dark Sunday ultimately provides gritty insight into a variety of social issues plaguing the Appalachian environment that composes its setting through the lens of Lowery, both as a protagonist preacher and antihero vigilante, as he navigates the adversaries of his city.
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