Camp is the single scariest movie I've ever seen. It also works as
hilarious comedy. The problem is that it's a documentary and its subject
is the brainwashing of children
-- and there's no other way to put it -- by Evangelical ministries
to turn them into Christian warriors who will fight to take the country
back from those who'd dare teach evolution in the schools, believe in pro-choice,
for the flesh."
Starring: Becky Fischer, Ted Haggard,
and Mike Papantonio
Camp focuses on three children -- Levi, Rachael, and Tori -- as they
on Fire, an Evangelical camp run by Pastor Becky Fischer. Fischer envisions
the camp as a way to get to children to make them dedicated Christians
in the way she feels that Muslims do to make their kids into soldiers
and suicide bombers. Fischer's goal isn't to literally make
the Christian kids into
but to convert them into people who will champion the causes
of the religious right by voting like-minded candidates into office so
that the United States can convert the rest of the world into Christianity.
interviews with the kids, their parents, and Fischer, we're shown their
focused determination to eliminate from their minds any questions
about global warming, evolution, being pro-choice, and Harry Potter.
These are all completely unacceptable to the Evangelical Christian. Global
warming is a lie. Evolution is an incorrect belief. Being pro-choice
means the death of 53 million people whom for which God wasn't able to
out a plan. Harry Potter, no matter how well he is portrayed, is a warlock
and warlocks can never be heroes.
notable sequence features a trip to Colorado Springs to see Reverend
Ted Haggard at his New Life Church. As Haggard meets with Levi -- himself
a preacher at 11 years old -- Haggard tells him to work the "cute kid"
thing until he's 30 and then he'll have some real content.
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady have taken their cameras into the homes
and hearts of the Evangelical Christians and the movie doesn't attempt
to portray them in a negative light. Their own actions and words can
be taken as you'd like them: as the words of a bunch of lunatics
or as the words of those who truly believe that God is telling them
to convert the country to their way of thinking.
Camp is unflinching and eye-opening. If you're expecting a one-sided
attack on religion, this film won't give it to you. It will simply make
you think about and discuss what you've just seen. That's the mark of
a truly successful documentary.
Camp was screened at Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival
against the wishes of the distribution company, Magnolia Pictures. Magnolia
had pulled Jesus Camp from the festival earlier in the summer
after it purchased rights to the film, in a decision apparently inspired
association with the film festival, with Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles
saying "I don't want the perception out in the public that this
is an agenda-laden film." (Source: Wikipedia.org)