Since it’s been a Toronto International Film Festival-crazy week for me, I thought I’d post a few non-TIFF films I’ve seen this week too.
This documentary, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, follows the lives of several children who have been indoctrinated by their Pentecostal parents into believing – on a level that is frankly terrifying – the Bible is the written, inviable word of God. Sadly, as such, these poor, sad children have no understanding of tolerance, moderation, diversity or the importance of inclusion. They have one poisoned view of the world and are just as fanatical as any al-Qa’eda terrorist. What’s worse, they are the future of America. It is a sobering view of what I’ve long said is the greatest threat to our world: fundamentalist Christians. Lord help us! My rating 7 out of 10.
Based loosely on John Irving’s wonderful book, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Simon Birch follows the story of a young boy with stunted growth syndrome from his birth to his untimely death. It sounds very heavy, but in the hands of director Mark Steven Johnson it comes out endearing and funny, if a tad predictable. Simon is the community’s outcast – relegated to the role of baby Jesus in the school Christmas play each year – but his best friend, Joe (played by Joseph Mazzello) sees the person beneath the body. Even when Simon unwittingly has a hand in Joe’s mother’s death, the friendship endures. Like a John Irving book, there is no end of odd and truly unique characters here, and, while from the very opening scene we know the film will end tragically, there is still enough humanity in the story to make it worth the ride. My rating 6 out of 10.
ryc: yes indeed!
So any good so far from TIFF?
i’ve wanted to see jesus camp for a while but haven’t gotten around to it. some of my friends can’t believe people could ever be that strongly religious that they would brainwash their kids like that.
I have to take a look at Jesus Camp. I did view the Good Shepherd. I totally agree with your rating. Excellent film. Good acting.RYC: I agree with you the gals are brainwashed as to what it means to be feminine.
I heard that Jesus Camp was really intense! I wanted to see it, but missed the time when they were showing it in the movies. I also wanted to see the Good Shepard…and after your review, I know that I’m gonna probably see it for reals