Feature

Jesus Camp

Young children solidify their evangelical beliefs at a radical Christian summer camp.

Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have chosen a lightning rod subject for their second documentary together, said Sara Brady in Premiere. 'œIt would be virtually impossible to find a person of any faith who comes into Jesus Camp with a neutral outlook.' Secularist liberals will be horrified at images of children speaking in tongues and praying to a cardboard cutout of President Bush, while the evangelical community will nod its head in approval. This movie 'œdoesn't pretend to be a comprehensive survey of the charismatic-evangelical phenomenon,' said Stephen Holden in The New York Times. These images are blatantly emotional ones that could surely provoke a fistfight between disparate audience members. But that's not the filmmakers' aim. Instead, every person, from a Christian-baiting Air America radio host to the founder of the camp, who unabashedly claims she's trying to create American Christian soldiers in the mold of Islamist suicide bombers, is treated with compassion. That's because Ewing and Grady have done their best to exclude their personal agendas, said Elizabeth Weitzman in the New York Daily News. This film isn't balanced, but it is profoundly educational. It's 'œa vital look at a subculture that remains foreign' to blue state audiences. Consid­ering the movement's impact on our lives, shouldn't everyone know what evangelicals really believe?

Rating: PG-13

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