Christina S. Sledge, Edward L. Sledge Jr., Brandon C. Madeam Sr., Zane Madeam
Christina S. Sledge
Christina S. Sledge, Edward L. Sledge Jr.
I must confess that I'm not really someone who believes in fate, but Christina S. Sledge's engaging short doc Joined by Fate is the kind of film that earnestly makes you at least want to believe in the possibility of it all. Joined by Fate is a love story centered around Sledge herself alongside husband Edward L. Sledge Jr., both of whom whose lives have long intersected and whose love story seems destined from the stars above.
As a documentary, Joined by Fate is rather straightforward yet never less than engaging. Wrapped around interviews with both Christina and Edward, Joined by Fate is an urban fairy tale that invites you in and makes you want to follow along as the love story unfolds and we become increasingly intrigued by how it all started, where it all has gone, and where it is now.
Currently on its indie fest circuit which is planned to continue through September 2023, Joined by Fate has already picked up a handful of awards along its journey including prizes at New Jersey Film Awards, Bridge Fest Film Festival, and Cooper Awards among others. From being born in the same hospital to being high school sweethearts in Brooklyn, it seems as if the paths for both Christina and Edward have always led back to one another, a fact particularly intriguing given their different upbringings and inevitable life detours.
While Edward's childhood was marked by instability in both family and economics, Christina's was more grounded in a loving and stable family. Yet, again, despite the differences it would almost seem as if the two were fated toward one another. While there could have been some sort of cinematic secret along the way, Joined by Fate is, in fact, a committed love story with a marriage seemingly inevitable and a blessed life together ultimately resulting in both loving and working together including within this documentary.
Joined by Fate is largely a collaboration between the two Sledges with photographs largely filling the gaps between interviews. D.P. Jakiera White Madeam lenses the film simply yet effectively and while there's never really a moment when you forget that this is a low-budget indie, there's such an engaging love story here that you really don't mind at all. Destined to appeal to those who can appreciate the wonder of a meaningful story well told, Joined by Fate is refreshingly devoid of distractions and instead enthusiastically embraces its heartfelt love story and invites us all in for the ride.
Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic