Jesus Camp (2006)

THE SCOOP
Director: Heidi Ewing/Rachel Grady
Plot: A documentary on kids who attend a summer camp hoping to become the next Billy Graham.

Genre: Documentary
Awards: Nom. for 1 Oscar - best documentary
Runtime: 84min
Rating: M18 for some discussions of mature subject matter.

TRAILER:

IN RETROSPECT

I always believe that documentaries are the hardest to review. So I'll be taking on the challenge of critiquing Jesus Camp, which is by far one of the most demanding ones that I've faced. Jesus Camp is an eye-opener for those whom aren't Christians. It's haunting to see young American kids being indoctrinated with beliefs and religious concepts that aren't remotely related to the Bible, for future political reasons. This phenomenon has an uncanny similarity to Muslim extremists in the Middle East, where kids are trained to be suicide bombers in the name of God.

Rationale people like us clearly realize that the whole thing is futile. The world is so vast; to radicalize the whole world with unjustifiable beliefs is as impossible as flying to the moon. While every sane living soul condemns Muslim terrorists, America's future secret holy response is equally damnable. Religion and state must not be mixed; if it does, the world will be in great trouble. There's no such thing as a dominant religion, or worse still, a dominant country with a dominant religion.

From the film perspective, Jesus Camp is not a top-notch documentary. It's an above average production that suffers from mediocre editing, and low creative input from the film crew. It doesn't offer anything more than what a basic documentary does. It's an Oscar-nominated effort by the filmmakers, and it's a daring venture into a new dark phase of American religious culture, but it lacks heart and spirit.

SCORE: 6.5/10

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