Journal of Religion and Film

Articles from Vol. 22, No. 1, April

And Breathe Normally
Lara is a single mother who has trouble holding a job, paying her rent, or even buying food. When she gets a job checking passports of people who enter Iceland, she thinks she may have a chance for a better life for herself and her son Eldar. She detects...
Believer
Dan Reynolds, frontman of the band Imagine Dragons, is a Mormon. He is straight, married, and has three children. He is also one of countless Mormons who has gay friends, including some who are Mormons, and who is unhappy with the continued rigid approach...
Butterflies
Cemal, Kenan, and Suzan are siblings who have not seen each other for years. Each of them has a certain amount of absurdity in their life: Cemal is an astronaut who has never been to space, who leads his fellow astronauts in a strike, even to the point...
Come Sunday
Carlton Pearson was an extremely successful Pentecostal preacher at a large church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, but some two decades ago he began to doubt what he was preaching. He could not reconcile God's love with the idea that countless people are sent to...
Half the Picture
Although half the students in film schools are female, only a small percentage of these are allowed to become directors. Between 2002 and 2014, only 4.1% of the directors of the 1300 top grossing films were women. And in 2014, only 7% of the directors...
Human Affairs
This film begins with the narration of Geneviéve, describing how her father inexplicably deserted the family when she was young. Since then, she has had an abusive boyfriend, and now is somewhat without focus or purpose in her life. This is all told...
I Am Not a Witch
This is the story of little Shula who is found abandoned in a small village where she is then accused of being a witch. She is given the choice of confessing to being a witch or of becoming a goat. She chooses, as much as any small child can make such...
King in the Wilderness
King in the Wilderness (2018), dir. Peter W. KunhardtThis documentary focuses on the last three years of Dr. King's life (1965-68) during which he experienced new challenges and developed new views. The narration comes entirely from 22 eyewitnesses who...
Man on Fire
On June 23, 2014, the Rev. Charles Moore drove from his home in Allen, Texas to a shopping center parking lot in his home town of Grand Saline, Texas, where he doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire. He died as a result of the fire. The...
Puzzle
Puzzle (2018), dir. Marc TurtletaubAgnes leads a carefully controlled existence that is entirely predictable and has no surprises in it. She serves the men in her life-her husband and two sons-without question or complaint. Even at her own birthday party,...
Quiet Heroes
Quiet Heroes (2018), dir. Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, and Amanda StoddardI think of this movie as one of three interwoven stories. First there is the story of HIV/Aids. How mysterious the disease was, how quickly it appeared and how quickly it became...
Sundance Film Festival 2018
Sundance Film Festival 2018As we went to Park City in January once again for the Sundance and Film Festival, I was struck by the fact that there was a shortage of snow this year-but there was no shortage of great films to see.There were 13,468 film submissions...
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018), dir. Desiree AkhavanThis film is an adaptation of Emily Danford's novel of the same name which tells the story of a young lesbian who is sent to a gay conversion therapy school in 1993. Although the story is fictional,...
The Troubled Troubadour
The Troubled Troubadour is a gentle but powerful story of a ukulele playing troubadour's journey toward death. The troubadour seems to be riding in a boat (maybe on the River Styx?) poled by his companion. In reality, however, the boat is on wheels riding...
This Is Home
Last year at Sundance, films like Cries from Syria and Last Men in Aleppo told the heartbreaking and horrifying stories of the war in Syria. This year, Alexandra Shiva has made a documentary following a year in the lives of four Syrian families who came...
Women Are Speaking Up at Sundance
This year, more than any other, felt like the Year of the Woman at the Sundance Film Festival. Interspersed throughout the ten days of films and red carpet events, women were given the opportunity to speak about their experiences making movies, as well...
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