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New Orleans’ Demetrius Grosse stars in ‘Sound of Hope’ about adoption | Entertainment/Life

Angel Studios’ “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot” opened in nearly 2,200 theaters nationwide on July 4. It was the second film from writer-producers Joshua and Rebekah Weigel centered on American children caught in troubled situations.

Last summer, his drama “Sound of Freedom” explored the horrors of child trafficking. His current film delves into this country’s foster care system, dramatizing the true story of a bishop and his wife who in 2006 led 22 members of their congregation to adopt 77 of East Texas’ most endangered children.

In 1997, First Lady Donna Martin of Bennett Chapel Baptist Ministries was struggling with the sudden loss of her mother and searching for comfort and a way to move forward when she learned of the plight of so many Texas children. Already a mother of two, one with special needs, she learned of the desperation of children in the state’s foster care system and was convinced she could make a difference.

But it was not easy to convince her husband, the Reverend WC Martin, that taking troubled children into their home had become her calling, and should become his.

Actor Demetrius Grosse plays the initially conflicted bishop in the film. Grosse is originally from Washington, D.C., but now lives in New Orleans, his wife’s hometown.

“I wanted to understand how my character came to make this life-changing decision,” Grosse said. “It made me think of American rapper and activist Nipsey Hussle,” who was murdered in Los Angeles five years ago.

Grosse said Hussle “posed an important question when he asked, ‘Would you rather be at peace with yourself and at war with the world, or at peace with the world and at war with yourself? ’” “I think W.C. Martin asked himself that same question when approaching his wife’s mission and decided he would rather be at peace with himself.”

Demetrius Grosse, Diaana Babnicova and Nika King star in ‘Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot,’ which tells the true story of a family who changed the trajectory of the foster care system in Texas. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANGEL STUDIOS

The couple then dove headfirst into the foster care system, adopting children and encouraging others to do the same. The film paints a portrait of resilient children who have been thrown into a difficult situation through no fault of their own.

The script never glosses over the very real problems involved in adoption, and never makes it seem like it’s easy. In fact, bringing abused children into a stable environment often disrupts the family unit. One girl has become so detached from the horrors of her life that she’s decided to take on the personality of a cat. Another child, hearing the water running in the bathtub, runs away screaming because he once burned himself in a hot bath.

As Donna Martin says, it takes true, committed love to persevere when you are continually rejected by children who have never been able to trust anyone.

The issue of foster care is no less relevant today than it was 25 years ago. With 400,000 children in the system and 100,000 needing permanent homes by 2024, it is an issue that remains relevant.

The filmmakers lead by example and are people whom actor Grosse deeply admires.

“The Weigels are a married couple who have four or five children, and two of them are foster parents,” Grosse said. “I can’t praise them enough. They moved their entire family to this community of Possum Trot and lived with the Martins. This gave them the integrity to write and produce such a great story, and the fuel to endure the sacrifices they made for their own family.”

“Sound of Hope” co-stars Nika King (“Euphoria,” “Greenleaf”) as the determined Donna Martin, and Elizabeth Mitchell (“Running Scared,” “Lost”) in the pivotal role of real-life social worker Susan Ramsey, who works with foster families in Texas. By the time the film ends, there are no children left to adopt within 100 miles of Possum Trot.

Grosse attended Carnegie-Mellon and Oxford universities and has played major roles on stage and in the television series “Rampage” and “Justified.” He is best known for films such as “Straight Outta Compton” and is set to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Eric Williams/Grim Reaper in the Disney+ series “Wonder Man.” But Grosse hasn’t forgotten the word “legacy,” which he says his mother always told him.

“Now that I’m a father and have younger children, I enjoy watching movies with them,” Grosse said. “So, in the future, I want to play roles that show strong, compassionate, chivalrous men. They don’t have to be perfect people — they can have flaws — but they should have a righteous mission behind them and ultimately do whatever is necessary for the greater good.”

With “Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot,” their mission is accomplished.

The film is currently playing in cinemas across the country.

You can contact Leslie Cardé at [email protected].

‘This article may contain information published by third parties, some details of this article were extracted from the following source: www.nola.com’

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