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Jesus Camp (2006)

tomatometer

87

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Reviews Counted: 101
Fresh: 88 | Rotten: 13

Evangelical indoctrination is given an unflinching, even-handed look in this utterly worthwhile documentary.

89

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 3

Evangelical indoctrination is given an unflinching, even-handed look in this utterly worthwhile documentary.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 66,556

My Rating

Movie Info

The youngest foot soldiers for the Lord are shown in their native environment in this documentary. Becky Fischer is a children's pastor who runs "Kids on Fire," a summer camp for evangelical Christian children in North Dakota. Fischer believes in the political and moral importance of a Christian presence in America, and uses her camp to reinforce the religious training most of her charges are already receiving at home (the majority of the campers are home-schooled by their parents). Using video

Jan 23, 2007

$0.8M

Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (108) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (13) | DVD (8)

A brave, thoughtful documentary.

November 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

No matter your religious or political affiliation (or lack thereof), this supremely even-handed documentary from Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady is cinematic dynamite.

October 13, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's almost impossible not to respond emotionally to this fascinating, sobering and all-too-brief exploration of the politicized religious right and its hopes, dreams and power.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps indoctrination is in the eye of the beholder. But one thing is certain: All Christians aren't the same. I'm one, and I found this film to be saddening, not heartening.

October 13, 2006 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I spent a lot of years studying the teachings of Jesus in Catholic grammar school, and I think Jesus would be appalled by what goes on in the these camps.

October 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Both disturbing and enlightening.

October 7, 2006 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Jesus Camp doesn't just preach to the converted, it bores and frightens them.

February 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Eye-opening look at the Evangelicals among us.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A disturbing, unflinching portrait of religion and its effects on children when in the hands of psychotic strangers and bad parents.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Why bother with horror films when you can see this?

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: This is London | Comments (2)
This is London

Some lively material - but nothing new.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

Flawed editing and intrusive and irritating commentary hardly detract from the shock value of this disturbing documentary. Compulsory viewing for anyone in the least bit concerned about religious extremism.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

This gripping shock-doc looks inside the Kids on Fire evangelical summer camp in North Dakota, where training starts young for a "new army of God" to "take back America for Christ".

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

This unabashedly liberal documentary tries to redress the balance by giving the rest of America a wake up call: not all scary fundamentalists come strapped with explosives.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: BBC

Filmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady don't bother with a polemical voiceover a la Michael Moore but skilfully stitch together the comments of the evangelicals themselves. It doesn't make for a pretty picture.

November 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Funny, sad and horrifying. Anti-fundamentalist rather than anti-Christian, this deserves to preach to more than just the converted.

November 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Almost as scary as "Village of the Damned". 12 year olds who aspire to be the next James Dobson!

February 27, 2007 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews | Comment (1)
rec.arts.movies.reviews

will be viewed as a modern classic in the decades to come.

January 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Ewing and Grady present this disturbing material in the only manner that it can be offered effectively

January 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

With an admirable impartiality, filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady allow the camera to make these kids look like Bible-thumping kooks as they quote scriptures and try to convert strangers they meet on the street.

January 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Upstage Magazine
Upstage Magazine

Effective documentary, if somewhat repetitious.

January 23, 2007 Full Review Source: EDGE Boston
EDGE Boston

One of the scariest movies I've ever seen. It's not a question of differing beliefs; it's a question of a separate society that will not accept differing beliefs

December 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

fascinating, eye-opening ... Although non-believers might find some of Fischer's rituals laughable, 'Jesus Camp' takes both the woman and her crusade very seriously, as it should.

December 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

O fato é que é assustador perceber que Fischer, Haggard (que hipócrita!) e demais pastores realmente acreditam no acerto de suas ações, jamais percebendo que o que chamam de "salvação" beira, na verdade, o abuso de crianças.

December 3, 2006
Cinema em Cena

We always think of the separation of church and state as being there to protect the state, but the film makes a powerful case that it's there to prevent politics from cheapening and commodifying faith, as well.

December 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Audience Reviews for Jesus Camp

Jesus Camp isn't a groundbreaking documentary in the sense that it uncovers something that is completely unknown or that it openly challenges its subject. Everyone in the film seemed to be quite happy to contribute to the filming so this must have been a pretty easy day in the office for Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady, Mike Papantonio etc. Not that I'm taking anything away from them, their obvious restraint must have taken a lot of will power and it the most effective part of the film - but then you'd have to be one of the deluded not to see the delusion for yourself - this is the film's real strength. I also liked the fact that the opposing 'voice of reason' was from a Christian, one that goes to a real church and believes religion and politics are two very different things. I'm an atheist and against all religion - I don't have a soapbox to stand on and I have friends of all faiths, it's just something I don't agree with. We atheists don't 'high-five' each other each time one of these documentaries comes out. It's fair to say this film was never going to reveal to me anything I didn't already know, it's preaching to the converted - However, being raised a Catholic, I know a little bit about the Bible and I had often wondered how these middle-American (there are some in the UK too) Evangelical churches work, how they have twisted the Bible's words and to what extent the delusion goes. I was still shocked and appalled and I think it's a good thing that this film is out there. When you make a racist homophobic ex-Nazi look good you just know you've backed the wrong horse. Should I add this film to my greatest horrors list too I wonder?
February 27, 2012
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Having gone through 20+ years of Evangelical indoctrination, I found this film scarily accurate and disturbing. Much of that disturbing aura derived from the film's presentation, in how its subject matter is presented nearly commentary-free and how what commentary it presents is mostly rather subtle. That said, it's not an easy watch.
December 24, 2011
djdemersseman

Super Reviewer

I knew this movie was going to make me angry before I even watched it.
December 7, 2011
purplemegan

Super Reviewer

Christ wept when he came to know that I'd been subject to this piece of shit. It's devastating to know that this sheer nonsense was nominated for Oscars. The fact that it was so much successful is more disturbing than watching this rubbish documentary. Amen.
November 5, 2011
imrealgod

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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