We’ve had our fill lately of documentaries that breathlessly tell us things we already knew — global warming is scary, fast food is unhealthy, and so on. Which is why we approached Jesus Camp — a doc about an Evangelical summer camp that trains kids to be soldiers in “God’s Army” — expecting to be bored.
But by going deep into the lives of preteens Levi, Rachel, and Tory, both before and during their attendance at Pastor Becky Fisher’s “Kids on Fire” camp in North Dakota, the filmmakers present an absolutely riveting, intensely personal view of the Christian Right.
There are many, many gasp-inducing scenes, including one of a church filled with little kids crying and speaking in tongues as they cluster around a life-sized cardboard cut-out of President Bush, who is presented by camp counselors as a savior who is helping “take back America for Christ.”
And yet, for all that, it’s a nuanced portrait of the subculture, much more Fred Wiseman than Michael Moore.
WATCH the trailer (2:07)
VIEW the theater list and schedule of openings (beginning Friday the 15th)
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