Virgins and fundamentalists

Two interesting TV-documentary-related news items.

1. Yesterday’s Vancouver Sun ran this article on The Big V, the virginity documentary which premieres tomorrow night. In case you’re wondering, I am in the film, but I am not in the article.

2. Reuters reports that Super Size Me (my review) director Morgan Spurlock is behind a new reality TV series called 30 Days, “which places people in a variety of unfamiliar circumstances for 30 days,” and apparently one of his favorite episodes involves a “fundamentalist Christian” who tries to live like a Muslim:

“One of my favorite episodes is … what’s it like to be a Muslim in America … who is seen every day as a threat to our freedom simply because of their color, their race, their religion,” Spurlock told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

“(It’s) something we deal with every day in America, and we hear about it with terrorism threats every day,” he said.

“We took a fundamentalist Christian from my home state of West Virginia, somebody who is very pro-war, pro-‘us versus them,’ that when you hear Muslim the only thing he thinks of is a guy standing on a mountain with an AK-47,” Spurlock said.

The man leaves his wife and children at home and goes to live with a Muslim family in Dearborn, Michigan, home to one of the largest Muslim populations in the United States.

“He dresses as a Muslim, eats as a Muslim, he prays five time a day, he studies the Koran daily, he learns to speak Arabic, he works with an imam, a Muslim cleric, to learn the history of Islam, what are the five pillars, why are they important.”

“And the transformation this guy goes through in 30 days is miraculous, it’s incredible,” Spurlock said.

The series premieres on the FX television network June 15.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).