Mike C. Manning

kidnapped for christ pushups 1

Among the titles recently announced for the 2014 Slamdance Film Festival, Kidnapped For Christ is the one I’m most anxious to see. It’s a documentary about an Evangelical Christian school in the Dominican Republic where gay teens are sent to be reformed through behavior modification programming. That’s not anything we haven’t heard of before, and such places were even played for comedy in the ’90s indie flick But I’m a Cheerleader. The thing about that movie, though, is that it seems dated. Apparently not, at least as far as attempts to “cure” homosexuality are concerned. Kidnapped For Christ reminds me of Jesus Camp, the idea of religious brainwashing being a main theme, yet in this film the kids are older and more consciously forced against their will. The place in Jesus Camp isn’t necessarily bad (though many viewers see it that way), but the school in this new doc definitely is. That makes it all the more incredible that the makers of Kidnapped For Christ were allowed access to film inside Escuela Caribe and interview the students about why they’re there (not all are gay but just “troubled”) and what they’re being put through. Also unlike Jesus Camp, there is a clear agenda with this production and its depiction of the school as a human rights problem. The story is that director Kate Logan was herself an Evangelical missionary and hadn’t initially intended to make a film against the school and its practices. I’m told she actually meant to make […]

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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