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Jesus Camp Reviews

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Anthony L

Super Reviewer

February 27, 2012
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?
Daniel J D

Super Reviewer

July 24, 2007
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.
Megan S

Super Reviewer

February 21, 2007
I knew this movie was going to make me angry before I even watched it.
familiar s

Super Reviewer

February 1, 2009
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.
Sophie B

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2011
Funny and interesting in the way it shows these people however I can see it being slightly offensive to them which is wrong of the filmmaker. They're clearly biased but in a way these people mark themselves as victims with this over the top behaviour. An eye opener, certainly.
Fernando Rafael Q

Super Reviewer

July 16, 2007
Jesus Camp has the unique power to be hilarious (that song, "Who's in the House" by Carman, is funny as hell) but also utterly enraging: the indoctrination, the shunning of traditional education over close-minded homeschooling, the claim that global warming is a lie! Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady let their subjects and their actions speak for themselves and what they've captured is incredible.
Spencer S

Super Reviewer

October 23, 2010
You don't need to be a liberal to love this movie, but it certainly helps. Centering on an Evangelical summer camp for children, Jesus Camp is in no way an "in your face" documentary." Instead of slapping in liberal politics or even jokes on the documentary's subjects, the film lets you draw most of your own conclusions. The film is topped off by an Air America host during his broadcast, full of commentary on America's fundamentalist sectors seeping into the general politics of the country, including a nomination of a Supreme Court Justice, showing both halves of the debate. Jesus Camp doesn't need interviews or narration, because everything you find wrong with the issues of the film are readily shown. Even Pastor Becky admits her cause is indoctrinating children to become a type of God's army, hell-bent on converting a nation and changing the Eco-political boundaries of our country for the worst of reasons. There were many tough scenes to get through; watching a type of societally acceptable cult change the way America is run, based on little more than a warped sense of entitlement. This film is both enjoyable and painfully educational, revealing that we're in a heap of trouble if this small slice of Americana becomes the whole pie.
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

November 7, 2009
one of the most honest documentaries ive seen. and i know that honesty is kinda the point of a documentary but this is just... totally how it is. highlights include the "holy ghost hammer" that the kids are given to smash dishes marked "government", and the pastor woman praying for god to "not let the power go out due to a storm, and to stop microphone difficulties in Jesus name", and the kids crossing the street to approach three old black men and ask them "if you died right now, where do think you would end up?" when one of them answers quickly and confidently, "heaven" and she asks if he is sure. then after he says "yea, im sure", its amazing to see the child so totally shocked. she cant think of a thing to say, so the kids just walk away. so fast that they almost get hit by a car. I also noticed during the movie and in real life at church that alot of these people, while speaking in tongues, will say this: HAKASHEEKATANICO BAHAYA! thats all. i have nothing to say about that. just wondered why so many people will use that one. i need to buy a pentecostal to english dictionary so i can figure out what hakasheekatanico bahaya means. anyway, no matter what you believe, just please watch this. (in the name of jesus, watch this film!)
Jay H

Super Reviewer

July 30, 2010
Though it occasionally feels one-sided and in the end feels somewhat incomplete, this film effectively accomplishes its goal of pissing off the viewer.
ScoopOnline
ScoopOnline

Super Reviewer

December 18, 2009
I dont have against any religions in this World, but the thing with sect bothers me. When the Kids grow up they are either disturbed and fully isolate themselves.
This Documentary reminds me of someone I use to know. It is so sad what people do in the name of the God.
When the Adults go wacko the innocent Children suffer under the Madness of the people who are suppose to protect them and not abuse them.
Mark H

Super Reviewer

August 21, 2009
Documentary about a Pentecostal summer camp for children. An effective documentary is unbiased, allowing the viewer to form their own opinions. Unfortunately, this is clearly not the agenda of the filmmakers. Clips from Mike Papantonio's radio show are frequently inserted to editorialize against the camp and the use of "evil" music every time the camp's director is on screen, do not point to an even handed approach. Nevertheless, this is still a window into a community we often do not see and much of it is fascinating. That the subjects were manipulated by the directors to cast evangelical Christianity in an unflattering light, contaminates what should have been an interesting film.
Rubia

Super Reviewer

April 13, 2009
The Devil wears... Jesus. The devil is called Becky Fischer.
The devil says: "because we have, excuse me, we have the truth". Smiles.
Think in the worst horror movie youīve ever seen. Itīs funny, but at the same time scaring. Picture it.

Rachael is a 9 yo very smart girl that in an typical american teen movie would be the boring and irritating class leader with a lot of potential but a limited mind. Tory, 10 yo, would be the stupid cheerleader dancing in front of the mirror and saying she couldnīt care less about Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. Me too!, but maybe this is the reason why a ten yo child have so many tears and guilties to scream out. Because listenting to such music as to like Harry Potter is a sin. Levi is 12yo and well, he has no salvation. Iīm sure heīs gonna be an "important" pentecostal minister or who knows what. The intrguing about these kids is that they are the "army of God".


Home-schooled, living in a completely evangelical and manipulative environment, where their George Bush voters and fanatic parents teach, among other things, that global warming is only a mith, nothing but a political issue. When most kids go to summer camps, they go to bible camps where they pretend to feel the spirit of God, shacking their whole body and speaking in tongues. Itīs as much scaring as Palestine kids with arms in their hands and I truly canīt say which one is the worst. Itīs the same type of manupulation, but this "army of God", at least for now, has no fatal ends.



Michael G

Super Reviewer

October 25, 2006
As frightening as Jesus Camp is, the movie's also damn fascinating--depending on how much narrow mindedness you can put up with. Initially I felt bad for the kids in this movie but by the end of it I was scared shitless of them. Especially the one with the rat tail. The scene where the creepy minister had the kids crying was pretty despicable. But then again, once Ted Haggard popped up I was laughing my ass off. However the scene toward the end where the talk show host, also a devout Christian acknowledged how mortifying using children for this kind of... thing... was kind of left me hopeful. If nothing else, Jesus Camp inspired me to be a better parent.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

February 9, 2008
Interesting but off balanced doc. They go out of their way to show the crazy Christians without showing enough of the other side of things. It's very much a flick that says "Look at the crazy Christians!" and some will see the flick and think this is how it is in all churches.
It's a little scary at parts as we see kids nearly brainwashed into a thinking of Us vs. Them mentality. They are taught to think that they are better than the dirty sinners of the world and that is a dangerous lesson to teach young people.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

January 27, 2009
A wonderful humorous look at an evangelical camp for kids. The brain washing these children undergo is both funny and scary. At the same time though you have to admire the adults for being so dedicated to their cause, no matter how narrow minded they are. Despite his mullet Levi is a well spoken and intelligent boy and it's sad that he is molded in such a way. Observational and never judgmental Jesus Camp is a look inside rather than a commentary. Absurd and dangerous to some and inspirational to others. Jesus Camp is a fair assessment of religion gone wrong.
gor41
gor41

Super Reviewer

July 10, 2008
Even handed look at evangelical Christians which lets the material speak for its self. Bristling with intriguing moments and juxtapositions. Really gets you thinking about how children should be educated.
James A

Super Reviewer

July 6, 2008
A great documentary showing the cult like cultivation of young minds into Christian fundamentalist thinking. Apparently these people miss the good old days and want America to be just as Racist, sexist, and homophobic.
puffchunk
puffchunk

Super Reviewer

October 18, 2007
Pretty frightening. Nothing like a church forcing kids to worship a cardboard cutout of George Bush.
Dean L

Super Reviewer

July 26, 2007
This was a phenomenal documentary. It may also be one of the scariest films I have ever seen. Take a deep look into the bible belt...no...take a deep look into America and how Religion and Politics (which are one and the same especially these days with Bush in the White House and his self-proclaimed "hotline to God") have the potential to do so much damage to our youth. These are the Fundamentalists at their...best? Watch as they place the yoke on the necks of these babes and watch them break beneath it. It is a horrifying spectacle and a must see for those who just "have to know."
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