Jesus Camp is a Christian summer camp where children hone their "prophetic gifts" and are schooled in how to "take back America for Christ". The film is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future.
I wanted to like it more than I actually did... But much of the humor totally escaped me and I walked out only mildly impressed.
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There's no way I can possibly love it entirely but I just think its ridiculously bad, but enjoyable at the same time.
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The film never slows down or bores, plunging from one harrowing sequence to the next.
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Jesus Camp is definitely one of the most disturbing documentaries you are ever going to see. It is practically impossible to grasp how this is possible in the 21st century. A true example how religious fanaticism blinds certain people completely.I am not religious and do not believe in God but I respect everyone that does since it is a personal choice and if faith helps someone and brings good things to their lives it can be a nice positive thing. On the other hand, the actions of the religious right as shown in this film are absolutely heartbreaking to watch. Young children being brainwashed, exploited and forced with political ideas, this will not leave you cold for sure. Their parents carry a huge blame too for sending them into such environment. When people who were raised Christian say that that those kind of camps that turn kids into some sort of a religious army are dangerous, you need no further proof how sickening it all is.The film is well made, it will grip you from the very first moment and will not let go. Do not watch it if you are looking for something relaxing and plan to have a nice, calm evening, you need to be prepared for this one.
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This documentary starts with a fat woman (likely obese) talking about not being a lazy and fat Christian and to do some fastening. The rest of the film shows us the same type of nonsense and contradictory facts being babbled and acted by those so-called Jesus lovers.The documentary basically follows the life of this woman called Becky (or something like that), the summits she hosts, the bible camp she organizes and the children she, along with other adults, brainwashes and indoctrinates.It also gives evangelist leader and Bush administration adviser Ted Hagard some of the airtime he loves so much. Not as much as he loves drugs and having sex with young lads, as it was discovered later. 1% of the film is given to a Christian radio show host to express how crazy is the behaviour showed in the other 99% of the documentary. That is, a Christian uttering how absurd other christians are.Leaving aside the significance of this, the problem I find in this production is the lack of real criticism (or reason) of what is showing us. I'm aware that the documentary pretends to tell us how the fat woman and other delusional people are trying to mold children into what they are themselves, although it is annoying to have to simply cope with 90 minutes of stupidity and have to swallow it all raw without much of a word muttered clearly against it. Save the already mentioned radio host believer.Now, these people are obviously either delusional or stupid beyond comparison. Probably both. Unfortunately, this is nothing new and the world is literally littered by millions and millions of individuals who think that there is an invisible being up in the sky who loves us all but will damn you to eternal torture if you don't follow his orders. Go figure. I have to wonder what all this belief is doing in the quantum world when it comes to mind over matter. There are other millions who believe that there are more than one of these up there, although the 3 big monotheistic religions are the most dangerous and absurd ones. We all know America is a world on its own and the cradle of nut jobs and fruit cakes, however things have been getting out of hands for a while now. I am not afraid of schizophrenics, psychopaths or child molesters like the people in the documentary, yet I can see how this is very, very scary. The kids showed in this film are unmistakably mentally scarred, traumatized or otherwise mind-damaged for life thanks to the idiocy of adults who find children -quoute- "usable" for their religions. However, I don't feel sorry for the kids. They will grow up and shall bring destruction and even more stupidity upon this Earth. If any pity should be felt, all my sympathies go to the near-future planet and the non-human inhabitants who will have to suffer the consequences of these highly disturbed people and their legacy, all for an invented set of absurd ideas called christianism copied and twisted from an even older set of myths. If you are serious about learning how to fight back the imbecility of the world, I recommend Religulous, The Virus of faith or some other Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens work, for example. At least with those you see some active opposition to the "enemies of reason".As a final message to all those evangelists, anglicans, mormons and related crazy folks: if Jesus of Nazareth had been a real historical figure, he would nail himself to the cross once he knew what a big bunch of lunatics say and do in his name.
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I only decided to write a review for this documentary because after reading through pages of reviews on IMDb, it seemed to me that a lot of people failed to understand its purpose. Many people giving it 1 or 2 stars because they believe this documentary to be disgusting or cruel or child abuse etc, clearly failing to understand that the entire purpose of said documentary was to highlight these exact problems!I'd been meaning to watch this for a while because I'd heard stories from friends in America about Bible camps and the like, where children are sent for what is realistically brainwashing Personally, I find all religions to have some for of mental torture involved (especially for children) so my point of view is definitely biased. However, this doesn't change the fact that this documentary does an excellent job of highlighting some major flaws with how people teach religion. If you are delusional enough to believe that religion is all good, I highly recommend watching this documentary. When you think that these children are going to spend their lives sheltered from reality, sheltered from learning, sheltered from experience, sheltered from truth: you can't help but think that these children never truly live. One issue with this documentary is that it doesn't really delve to deep into any one area of these camps. It is nothing more than an edited observation of such a camp with the occasional statistic appearing on screen. While this is a downside, it also works as a positive aspect because this documentary is only 1hr 30mins so it doesn't really drag out.
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To those of us who do not live in a part of the world where it is resurgent, evangelical Christianity appears a strange thing, one part madness, one part scam, and one part cover for vicious conservative nationalism. But the standard picture doesn't altogether prepare you for 'Jesus Camp', in which we follow the efforts of an apparently true believer to teach/indoctrinate the next generation. What we see is startlingly close to child abuse: indeed, it's hard to consider how this could not be considered abuse (in the purest sense) if it wasn't being done in the name of the established religion of the day. Quite how little of the doctrine is grounded in the words and spirit of the New Testament is also shocking, as is the way the kids learn quickly to behave as expected, and to express the same intolerant attitudes as their elders. If you hadn't thought of Christianity as a contest to prove who loves God the most before, then think again. If this documentary has a fault, it's only that it delivers the goods upfront: the first 20 minutes effectively summarise most of what follows. Still this is a pretty powerful denunciation of attitudes not just misguided, but close to pure evil, yet cloaked in false layer of suburban orthodoxy.