Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp (Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady, 2006) [4]
There's something quite disturbing about this documentary and it doesn't come from the Evangelicals and their actions that populate this film. What's more disturbing to myself is the whiff of exploitation that comes out of this. It's quite obvious that the Evangelical movement are exploiting this kids for their own political and social motivations, indoctrinating them into thoughts and ideas that kids shouldn't really have to grapple with at such an early age. That being said, Ewing and Grady are just as responsible for exploiting these kids who obviously have no clear grasp of how they are going to be portrayed. I'm not one of these people that are overprotective of kids but there were a handful of instances in this film that made me angry and uncomfortable with the way the adults, the filmmakers included, use these kids for their own personal advantages.

I don't really think political views have anything to do with reviewing a film so I will keep what I personally think of the Evangelical movement to myself. The film should have had good enough sense to do the same. Ewing and Grady bring a liberal viewpoint to this and they really didn't. Let the viewer decide for themselves what they think of these events. There may not be any agreement with the views of the people in the film, but let the film put it out there and have everyone make their own decision. The blundering use of an ominous soundtrack and the Air America Radio type asides do not have to be in this film. At the end of the film, the radio host and the children's' pastor have a conversation in which the host voices the same concerns I had. Watching the film, I feel that kids should be able to be kids and make these decisions about religion and morality on their own free will. I already had that assumption from the film, I don't need the film to tell it to me. Ewing and Grady are using these kids to help a political agenda and that's just wrong, as the S-CHIP debate has shown. Just leave the kids alone and go after the ones here that really deserve scorn, the adults facilitating this.

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