Thursday, October 19, 2006

Summer camp movies in contrast: Jesus Camp, Camp Out

Landmark Theaters has been presenting a chilling digital video documentary "Jesus Camp," distributed by Magnolia Pictures, dir. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. The film is only in 4:3 aspect ratio, but has a lot of on location scenery around Kansas City, and then at Devils Lake, ND where the summer camp is. Becky Fischer plays herself as the Evangelical determined to bring up kids to believe that they will be saved only by literal belief in and obedience to the Bible. The camp scenes show a lot of singing and community bonding that I would have found intimidating as a kid.

A very different kind of film for contrast is Camp Out, produced by Evolution Film and Tape, directed by Larry Grimaldi and Kirk Marcolina. The film follows ten teenagers at a Minnesota Bible camp ("Bay Lake Camp") for gay teens. This was screened free in the DC Film Festival Reel Affirmations on Tuesday, Oct 17, 2006, and I was unable to make it because of an emergency. The details are on the Reel Affirmations site at this link. I am told that the film will be shown on the Logo network, which is unfortunately still not available through Comcast in Arlington, although reportedly this availability is being worked on. I will review it as soon as I can locate a DVD copy or find it on Cable or theatrical release.

The filmmaker has indicated to me (email late today) that a DVD should be available soon through normal channels, and there will be educational screenings in 2007.

The picture here is from the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA.

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