This film succeeds in making you afraid of Evangelical Christians. You get an inside look at a zealous summer Bible camp, filmed with the full participation of the eager director and very young participants. There are a lot of things to be scared of: talking in tongues, an unholy mix of politics and religion, lots of blind intolerance, the brainwashing of kids, and seriously misguided zeal. As a devout Christian I am ashamed. However, its success rubs me the wrong way because stirring up fear – whether justified or not – makes people stupid. We already have a government stupefied by Fear of low risk terrorism, of Muslims, and the like, with no attempt at understanding. This film, although honest in its portrayal, feeds that republic of fear. I’d like it a whole lot better if it would have revisited the kids when they were mature (as 49 Up does) to see how this camp changed them. The film, as is, makes no attempt to understand the strange things its sees – only to drum up fright. But because the documentary of these common Evangelical/Pentecostal scenes are not very common in mainstream media, and because the glimpses are direct, intimate, unflinching, real, and honest as far as they go, I recommend it. Christians, take heed.
Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
2006, 84 min.
Rent from Netflix
Available from Amazon