holy crap this movie is sad. like a michael moore film, it has the ability to get its audience thinking and talking, though, so that’s a good thing.
the film follows a group of evangelical christians and splices in bits from a radio dj who offers the only counter-point within the film. the christians discuss their views on things like abortion (against), global warming (not real), darwin (a bunch of crap), and george w. bush (great guy). incidentally, since the film came out two things have changed: haggard (the evangelical christian minister who has a small part in the film) has been involved in a drug (and sex?) scandal, and bush acknowledged the seriousness of global warming in his state of the union speech. wonder what they think about those two things. at any rate, other than pontificating on the myriad problems in the world (mostly abortion) and their cause (the devil) the film’s subjects are seen participating in various rituals at the “jesus camp” (it’s actually called something like “kids on fire”) in north dakota. while there, the young children are taught to be soldiers in god’s army and to fight wickedness, spread the word of god and all that stuff. the rationale is two-fold: crazy muslims indoctrinate their kids to carry grenades at a young age so we should do the same, and our god is the real one so it’s okay. further, it seems that the pastors offer THE (supposed) answer to questions that the kids haven’t even been able to discover, much less comprehend. boy it must be grand to be so certain.
the scenes of the kids trying to talk with people on the street or in the bowling alley, etc. about god are extremely sad. the scenes of them crying and “feeling the holy spirit” are equally chilling. unless you live under a rock you probably knew about this stuff already, but seeing it on this scale, with this intensity and with children this age, is bound to be a new experience.
stylistically i didn’t like the over-editing, but enjoyed it other than that.