Idol Chatter

Though I am still waiting for my chance to make the trek to the indie movie mecca that is the Sundance Film Festival, I am always searching for information on any spiritually-themed movies that might come out of the festival, and this year there are two films in particular that have caught my interest: “Lourdes” and “8:The Mormon Proposition”. One is a fictional journey to the famous village in France known for miracles and the other is a deeper look at the involvement of the Mormon church in defeating Proposition 8 in California.

“Lourdes” looks at the tacky and bizarre as well as the devout and divine–a woman with Multiple Sclerosis visits Lourdes, France, looking for a miracle. From the mixed reviews it is receiving–some glowing, some simply confused or unimpressed–this movie doesn’t seem to take a stand on the validity of miracles or the importance of faith. Yet all the buzz seems unified in its praise of the acting and direction of this film, so my curiousity is truly piqued.
On the oither hand, “8:The Mormon Proposition” doesn’t seem to hide its bitter feelings about Mormon involvement in lobbying against gay marriage in California and continued discriminatin against homosexuals. The documentary has been the hot ticket at the festival in spite of rumors of possible protests at screenings by Christians.
Less attention has been given to the latest effort from the makers of “Jesus Camp,” a film with a less inflammatory title, “12th & Delaware.” It examines the events at an abortion clinic in Florida and the pro-life organization who are located across the street from it. Somehow, I am not expecting fair and balanced treatment on this one, but you never know.
My favorite coverage coming out of Sundance is not from big name critics, but from the students at Taylor University who are posting reviews of their films, discussions, and experiences at Sundance. Their choice for best movie to look out for is “Waste Land” about an artist who works with societal outcasts. I’m anxious to read what students post the rest of the week and I am encouraged at least that some spiritual dialogue is going on at the festival — known in recent years for the bizarre and dark, not the thoughtful and uplifting.

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