Monday, October 29, 2007

Jesus Camp (Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, 2006)


When they begin their documentary on children raised in Evangelical Christian environments (with political implications), Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady are trying very hard to clutch onto an observational, non-judgmental perspective. It's only once the kids are packed off to Jesus Camp in North Dakota, instilled with a potent sense of shame, guilt and self-hate, and then subjected to further appalling practices that the sombre music descends and their anger seeps through the verité aesthetic. Compared to the rage of any viewer with a conscience though, theirs is kept relatively in check. Even if they don't necessarily tell you anything new about the world, they at least demonstrate good judgment in taking on a humanist rather than a sensationalist approach.


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