That two unbelieving directors don’t understand Pentecostals — or Evangelicals — isn’t surprising. That they produced a film rife with ignorance and bias is also unsurprising. But that ordinary people who can normally tie their shoes and avoid bad movies like Gigli don’t see how insufferably biased this documentary is … well, that’s just depressing.
Now the admirably snarky and witty artist, Julie R. Neidlinger (a fellow Pentecostal who’s actually been to the A/G campgrounds featured in the film), has blessed us with a post that might help. Julie has been guest-commenting, blogging here and there, and strenuously trading comments, attempting to defuse the snap judgments and shallow rhetoric inspired by the film and its trailer. And, frankly, she’s about fed up.
So, having seen the film at last, she returns to our unfavorite subject one final time, neither to debunk the film nor to defend the subjects. Instead, she just wants to provoke a little thought about the nature of documentaries themselves.
It’s a good read, and it’s really worth the two or three minutes it’ll take you to enjoy it. Julie’s very bright, and a more efficient writer than I am — she writes more in three snappy sentences than I say in a page of rambling. Check her out.
As good writers do, she saves her best for last (and I’m not above stealing it to use right here because it makes the rest of this post look good):
A documentary is merely one clever edit from being propaganda. That’s all it takes. I’m not sure what Jesus Camp was about, but it wasn’t about Jesus, and it wasn’t about a camp. It seemed more like the traditional pre-November 2nd documentary that I am growing weary of.
Great post, Julie, and thanks for all your support.
[tags]BlogRodent, jesus-camp, pentecostal, charismatic, julie-r-neidlinger, lone-prairie-art-works, north-dakota, religion, faith, christianity, liberal-bias, documentary, documentary-films, film-review, heidi-ewing, rachel-grady, magnolia, controversy, evangelical, evangelicalism, charismania, pentecostalism[/tags]