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NEW Jesus Camp (DVD)

4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 32.87 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Controversial documentary about kids attending a theological summer camp. The filmmakers step back from the fray and let the subjects words speak for themselves. Some reviewers have held this up as an example of the religious far right brainwashing kids, calling it the scariest horror film of the year. Solid reviews and continued press should generate interest in seeing this film upon release. Special Features: Deleted scenes Directors' commentary "The feverish spectacle of a summer camp for evangelical Christian kids is the focus of Jesus Camp, a fascinating if sometimes alarming documentary. (Shortly after its release, the movie gained a new notoriety when Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who appears near the end of the film, resigned his post amid a male prostitute's allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct.) For most of the film, we follow a charismatic teacher, Becky Fischer, as she trains young soldiers in "God's Army" at a camp in North Dakota. Some of the kids emerge as likable and bright, and eager to continue their work as pint-sized preachers; elsewhere, the visions of children speaking in tongues and falling to the floor in ecstasy are more troubling. Even more arresting is the vision of a generation of children home-schooled to believe that the Bible is science, or Fischer's certainty that America's flawed system of democracy will someday be replaced by a theocracy. Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady maintain neutrality about all this, maybe too much so (they throw in some interviews with radio host Mike Papantonio to provide a liberal-Christian viewpoint) and one would like to know more about the grown-ups presented here. Power broker Haggard is the creepiest person in the film, an insincere smooth talker whose advice to one of the young would-be campgoers comes across as entirely cynical." --Robert Horton

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, just wow. Jan. 5 2007
If you're a Christian Evangelical (or zealot, even), you'll probably be unfazed by this movie and walk away thinking what a great camp for children. If you're not, then this movie is eye-opening and perhaps a bit unsettling. It's full of poignant moments that will leave you thinking and talking.

Some of the more poignant moments for me was when the camp brought in a man to talk about how being pro-choice and abortion is evil. The lesson being taught to the kids, of course, is that life begins immediately after impregnation and there is no distinction between a few days old fetus and a full-grown human. It's murder. Period. So then the camp organizes a protest with the kids against the pro-choice agenda, complete with tape over every kid's mouth that says "LIFE" over it. There's also a part towards the end when the film makers interview Levi and Rachael, two kids attending the camp. They talk about being trained to train others to be God's army and how there's a peace, excitement and that "it's really cool" to be trained as warriors. There's even talk about how they aren't afraid to die in battle.

Two of the more amusing moments in the film include the part when the camp leader denounces Harry Potter. She says "warlocks are enemies of God" and that "had it been in the Old Testament, Harry Potter would've been put to death". The kids clap and one says "Amen!". There's this one kid who says at the lunch table that he watches HP movies at his father's house because his mother doesn't want him watching movies with witchcraft and then all the other kids look at him with looks of disapproval and uncomfortableness as if to say "OH NO YOU DIDN'T". The other amusing part is pretty much anything Pastor Ted Haggard says as it's rather ironic given his recent "scandal".
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Power of Religious Zealotry American Style Feb. 8 2013
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
If you have ever traveled across America by car, on one of its many major interstate highways, you may catch one of any number of conservative Christian radio programs promoting the need to reclaim the country for Christ and His church. It is a holy warfare that is being advocated here in the interests of all that is righteous, holy and pure. As a Christian of strong conservative persuasion, I have always found religious organizations that push these slash-and-burn tactics for ripping out the ungodly presence in the national polity to be foreign to the my understanding of Scripture. Though this documentary was made in 2007, to highlight certain evangelical efforts to retain the White House for the Republicans in 2008, the efforts continue unabated today. According to the filmmaker, eighty million spiritually-absorbed Americans are potentially committed to making the country safe and sound for them and their children, and some are prepared to go to great lengths to make it happen. Take, for example, this North Dakota lady pastor, who has set up a summer camp to prepare young children to do battle for God against the 'barbarians at the gate'. The film looks at her herculean and calculated efforts to turn the young school-age children in her congregation into front-line soldiers against abortion, atheism, evolution, pornography and drugs in an effort to save this upcoming generation from divine judgment. Many of her tactics and strategies are definitely of the tin-foil-hat, brain-washing variety, meant to lock up impressionable young minds. There is one point in the film that is very telling as to where the real enemy ironically is when it comes to surveying the battle field: some of the young people get to attend Ted Haggard's "Good Hope" Church in Colorado Springs where they take in a patriotically inspiring message from the now-disgraced former pastor of America's most evangelical church.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conservative Christians March 23 2007
I was absolutely shocked by the fact that there are actually so many people out there who are so irrational, and "magical" in their beliefs. The movement reminded me of the Hitler Youth, where children were taught that their country held a special place in the world, and how they worshipped Bush and the flag - it was absolutely disheartening considering the terrible path that the US has taken in recent years (the illegal war in Iraq, delegitimization of the UN, UNILATERAL military action, the sort of behaviour you expect from fascist governments) which I'm sure Jesus would absolutely frown at. The kind of violence and the technology which is used to propogate it reminds me of how Jesus warned that there would be many false prophets. I think of the rich and the powerful Christians and I know that they are the false prophets Jesus warned of. They have made the world a very dangerous place, played right into the hands of the terrorists, and this movie shows how the "education" or brainwashing takes place amongst some of the best meaning people in the world - not the powerful, but the ones who listen to them. God save America indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars what a great film! March 20 2007
i agree with the above comments that they should have identified these christians as 'pentecostal' rather than evangelical. but that was pretty much the only flaw of the whole movie.

this movie answers the question 'how can adults (voters) have political beliefs that are completely irrational and illogical (not to mention insensitive)?'.. the answer that this film provides is that they're taught, as children, that these political beliefs are part of their religious faith and therefore (even as adults) cannot separate the two. anyone interested in contemporary north american politics, childhood education, or religion will love this movie.

absolutely brilliant!
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