...engaging and discerning culture, as a way of life...

October 23, 2006

Jesus Camp - 6

This film, for everyone who has no idea this film is even out there (apparently very indie), is a documentary about Becky Fischer (read a lot more about the film here) and her children's ministry. Fischer is a Pentecostal Evangelical, who wants to train children to change the world for Christ. The film was made by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka). The film highlights the beliefs that these kids are being raised into, which is a Christianity that is full of conviction. Conviction that the world is full of brokenness and sin, and in need of the saving work of Jesus. Most of the adults in the film interpret this to mean some form of political action, for example- protesting abortion, praying and blessing President Bush (who is an Evangelical Christian), and rejecting the influence of culture- like Harry Potter, Britney Spears, and the teaching of evolution. The film has the ability to incite a visceral response. But right at the moment you are outraged, disturbed, and offended, you realize that you are in the same boat as the people in the film. In this sense, the film is a very human one. The question of how to teach children or anyone for that matter, raises questions of epistemology that cannot be determined in an initial gut feeling. One could ask the question: Is there any education that is not manipulation or coercion? And how would one recognize it? I think these kids are being somewhat manipulated, but then again my own view is one where the means are not inherently different, rather it is the ends. That may end up changing the whole picture. One thing I think the film could have been better at was filming the questions asked of the people talking to the camera (I am not sure when this is the case or not, but some of the responses seemed to be initiated by the filmmakers questions and responses). There assumption is that the characters tell the story by showing up and saying what they say, but the story is built in part by the editing, which is done by the directors. According to the site, everyone in the film thought they were honestly portrayed (with the exception of Ted Haggard). Here is a response to the film by Ted Haggard who is in the film briefly, and seems to be the only one in the film that disliked it (He claims it is leftist, and anti-evangelical). Here is a response to this by the filmmakers. Worth reading to continue the dialogue and questions this film raises about Christianity and contemporary culture. A thought provoking film.

1 comment:

Jason said...

Check out the interview my web buddy Peter Chattaway did with the filmmakers here.