August 06, 2006

"Jesus Camp" Review

I'm not a fan of Michael Moore. I think he's a bully; never saw the anti-Bush propanda film. But this Jesus Camp, the latest of his sensational documentaries a film he's insisting on screening at his film festival, despite the fact the producers don't want to be associated with Moore, well, it intrigues me. I might try and see it. From a review by David Byrne:

It focuses on a woman preacher (Becky Fischer) who indoctrinates children in a summer camp in North Dakota. Right wing political agendas and slogans are mixed with born again rituals that end with most of the kids in tears.
Ever since I heard The West Wing make the point that "Al Qaida is to Islam as the KKK is to Christianity," I've long thought that some extreme aspects of today's religious right differs very little in methodology in terms of unquestioning indoctrination.

The most profound question the review makes is to ask

how did accepting the evidence for climate change and global warming become anti-Jesus?
Why has the religious right jumped on this anti-climate change self-deception? I can only think that it is a result from lying in bed with corporate conservatives (with a clear stake in the issue) within the Republican party for the sake of political success.

I really, really think God wanted us to take care of the earth. ::shrug::

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WHS said...

I must be missing something. What does Michael Moore have to do with this film? It's directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. And what does your opinion of a movie you admit you never saw have to do with anything?

Joe Weaks said...

Well, I'm the one missing something. I misread what was itself a misleading news article, apparently. The film has been associated with Michael Moore, with planned (and now disputed) screenings at his Traverse City Film Festival in Michigan. I apologize for such an error.
I have seen other Michael Moore's works which gives rise to the "bully" comment (such as the auto industry documentary).

jaredthirsk said...

I saw the movie and as I was watching it I was thinking that Michael Moore probably could not have done a better job at pitching a hostile message through editing, music, and focus. It is obvious Moore hates Bush (I haven't seen Farenheit 9-11 but I don't think I'm going on a limb here), and this movie uses a straw man (one lone woman's kids camp) to attack the entire evangelical base of America, and I thought it was very well put together.

With Bowling for Columbine, it was not apparent (at least to me) that Moore was taking clips out of context and stringing them together to make them say something new. I liked the film, but when I saw an analysis of it, it really ticked me off. I thought I was watching an honest documentary -- I trusted it and thought it was trying to teach me the truth. It wasn't -- it is a propaganda film that manipulates the truth to Moore's own advantage. With Jesus Camp, they were obviously doing the same thing with Ted Naggin or whoever the bigshot preacher dude is. Now this guy in these clips said some things I don't like and I am angry with him, but I am also angry with the editing of the clips to make this guy look like some republican political monster reveling in supreme control over the electorate who wants to and has already taken over America. The editing is obvious, and I have never seen this guy before and have no idea what he is actually like, but with the obvious stringing together of clips, I can't take the movie seriously, and think it is terrible that others seem to. One thing that is dangerous about this movie is that there are people out there who take this as a documentary and not as a propaganda film, because they want to or are open to accepting the message of fear and shock. This is exactly the audience that Moore targets, and I think Moore is glad someone else is doing a good job at furthering his agenda.

Some people said they thought this movie raises questions and promotes dialogue. I think that is partially true, and I am glad for the issues raised, but I think that its intent is much more to sway viewers to opinions (involving shock and fear) than to stimulate a fair and balanced, and meaningful debate, providing facts for debate, not emotional incitement from manipulating things out of context.

This class of movie, with Jesus Camp, and Moore's 2 popular films, are not documentaries

Anyway, here is one review I thought was thoughtful, and made the point (more or less) that the filmmakers, whatever their intentions, are outsiders who do not understand the culture and only know how to show the shocking vantage of the outsider.

Aaron D. Taylor said...

Evangelical Christianity's anti-environmental stance has been vastly overstated by the secular media. Ted Haggard the president of the National Association of Evangelicals as well as numerous other prominent Christian leaders have spoken out on the need to address the global warming issue.