Jesus Camp | Chicago Reader

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A chilling close-up of the religious right, this documentary by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (The Boys of Baraka) centers on Becky Fischer, a Pentecostal children's minister, and her annual “Kids on Fire” summer camp in North Dakota, where the next generation of Christian fundamentalists is being programmed for the culture wars. If scenes of preteen children chanting, weeping, speaking in tongues, and performing war dances in army fatigues and camouflage face paint aren't enough to scare you silly, Fischer's apocalyptic sentiments should do the trick (“Democracy is designed to destroy itself, because we have to give everyone equal freedom”). George Ratliff's Hell House (2001) presents a more nuanced and affecting portrait of the same subculture, but Ewing and Grady precisely document the alienation and moral separatism that's incubating an American Taliban. PG-13, 87 min.

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