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Critic Reviews for Marjoe
For many complicated reasons, fundamentalist Christianity in America doesn't look the same today as it did in 1972, when Marjoe won the Academy Award for best documentary.
In 1972, Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith's Marjoe was enough of an eye-opening sensation to make news of itself and Oscar winners of its creators.
Especially entertaining is this con man's exposing all the tricks of the trade, from how he healed confederates feigning illnesses to the special gestures and vocal cadences designed to hypnotize his gullible followers.
A portrait of interior disconnect between authentic faith and cynical disillusionment.
Audience Reviews for Marjoe
A grown up child faith-healer reveals the schemes and deceptions of his trade. Inside the brain of a con artist, this documentary is everything that's good about Elmer Gentry with the added benefit of being all true. Marjoe is an unappealing person, but the film is starkly honest and unflinching in its condemnation. The thesis isn't as intelligent about faith as it might be (because after all faith is far more complex than can be shown in a film or garnered in a tent rally), but this is still a valuable and compelling film. Overall, Marjoe is a fascinating look at the business of conversion.
I think it's absurd to review this film based upon your religious convictions. I think it's more appropriate to review it based upon it's content and how the film is crafted. And it get's an A in those areas. This sheds light on how easily manipulated children can be and how even more easily adults can fall for anything if they want it to be real. Marjoe had an unfortunate upbringing and the realizations that he makes in this film are gratifying for the viewers. This is an important documentary for believers and non-believers alike. Don't watch it with defiance like others clearly have.
An amazing look inside the Pentacostal church by a trusted and famous pastor, who admits that it's all a scam. Marjoe Gortner was a child prodogy. The son of pentacostal parents who was trained to recite versus, how to give a great performance and when to solicit money from believers. He was ordained at the age of four and continued to preach into his teens. He gave up preaching and joined the hippy movement until in his twenties, needing money, went back to the only thing he knew how to do well. Preach and get people to empty their wallets for God.
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