Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Behind the Bullet

Academic journal article Journal of Religion and Film

Behind the Bullet

Article excerpt

Behind the Bullet (2019), dir. Heidi Yewman

Behind the Bullet is a documentary feature film that is a collection of four stories about people who have pulled the trigger and the aftermath of that action. Christen is a young woman who pulls the trigger in an attempt to complete suicide. Will is from the streets. He shoots at three young men from the neighborhood, killing one of them. Kevin shoots an intruder and spends 40 minutes watching him die. Taylor was 8 years old when he pulled the trigger that killed his brother.

At the end of the film there are some statistics about gun violence, so the message of the film is clear: "be careful with guns." But this is a mild message. There is no call for gun control, nor any talk of background checks on gun owners. There is no condemnation of our "gun culture," nor an analysis of the second amendment. It may be that the message of the film is that we should "be careful with guns," but we cannot do anything about the situation beyond that.

Religion, however, does seem to play a role in how we understand the people behind the bullet. In the case of Will, turning to God and God's work offers him an opportunity for redemption. Will can forgive himself if he does God's work. Taylor's family turns to God to make everything okay. …

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