Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
You think you’re watching a bunch of unrelatable, super-conservative but still sane individuals for the first half of this documentary…and then you get to the part where they bust out the George W. Bush cutout and tell the children to bless it. This fascinating film takes you into the world of Evangelical America, centering mostly on the heartland and focusing much of its time on the “Kids On Fire” Bible camp run by children’s minister Becky Fischer in her desire to revitalize the nation by bringing children to Jesus. Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady don’t do enough delving into the subject they are presenting, giving you an update on the scariest aspects of the conservative religious fever taking over America since Bush’s second election to office but never really examining any of its effects (or the outcomes of the individuals it narrows in on). A lot of the footage, however, is mesmerizing, and will suck you into an 84-minute time warp that will be over before you feel it happen. Features an appearance by the great Ted Haggard, who is definitely in need of some more “ex-gay” therapy considering how much he enjoys using the term “fabulous”.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Documentary Feature