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Film

Cinema Politica 26/02: Jesus Camp

Posted by John / February 22, 2007

jesus.jpgCinema Politica writes:

WHAT: Documentary screening with speakers
WHEN: Monday, February 26 at 7:30pm
WHERE: Room H-110, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve
COST: Free or by donation

The last film on J.C. with so much hype was the gratuitously violent and ultimately divisive Passion for the Christ by renowned racist Mel Gibson. Consider that the past. Cinema Politica promises to bring you something much more dynamic, engaging, political, and, yes, for some, down right frightening. Behold Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady's JESUS CAMP. We'd like to especially thank the filmmakers for being so accommodating with this screening, and regret that they are unable to actually attend the event due to the film's nomination for Best Documentary Feature at the Academy Awards the night before our screening. Come early, we're anticipating a packed house.

USA / 2006 / 88 min

JESUS CAMP (Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady) is a documentary about the "Kids On Fire" summer camp, located just outside Devils Lake, North Dakota and run by Becky Fischer and her ministry, Kids in Ministry International. The film focuses on three children who attended the camp in the summer of 2005--Levi, Rachael, and Victoria (Tory). The film cuts between footage of the camp and a children's prayer conference held just prior to the camp at Christ Triumphant Church, a large charismatic church in Lee's Summit, Missouri; a suburb of Kansas City.

All three children, despite their youth, are very devout charismatic Christians. Levi, who has ambitions of being a pastor, has already preached several sermons at his suburban Kansas City church. Early in the film, he is watching a cartoon that preaches that Earth is 6,000 years old. He is homeschooled, and learns physical science from a book that attempts to reconcile the creationist account with scientific principles. He preaches a sermon at the camp in which he declares that his generation is a key to Jesus's coming back. Rachael is seen approaching a woman and offering her a Christian tract and telling her that God has a special plan for her. She is somewhat disdainful of non-charismatic churches, feeling that they aren't "churches that God likes to go to." Early in the film, she is seen praying over a bowling ball. Tory frequently dances to Christian heavy metal music, and feels somewhat uncomfortable about "dancing for the flesh." At the camp, Fischer stresses the need for children to purify themselves in order to be used by God. She strongly believes that children need to be in the forefront of turning America back to conservative Christian values.

For complete synopsis, full credits, and to watch the fabulous trailer, visit the JESUS page.

Discussion

8 Comments

youcoulddobetter / February 26, 2007 at 12:13 pm
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Yawn.

You could create an equally frightening documentary about the fringe of any major religous group. Why didn't the directors (two Jewish women) point their cameras at the scary fanatics their own religion has created?

According to the last Canadian census, over 70% of Canadians are Christians. Obviously this movie doesn't represent the average Christian. But it's become all too trendy now to bash Christians and this movie is just riding that wave.
J Mac / February 26, 2007 at 02:42 pm
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I haven't seen this film yet (because it's on tonight), but I can't think of a worse criticism of a topic choice than "there are also other topics." Plus, given the increasing power of the christian right in the U.S. (and to a lesser extent in Canada), I hardly think you can dismiss efforts to document the more extreme elements as "trendy" -- especially when many extreme ideologies tend to trickle down (percolate up?) into more mainstream points of view.
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