You may have heard of the book, Why We’re Not Emergent: By Two Guys Who Should Be (I don’t know what it’s about — I never read it). Well, you might call this review, “Why I Don’t Love a Movie: By a Guy Who Should.” I basically agree with the LA Times review: “Meh.”
Hellbound? is a movie that features many of my friends, and at least one former friend. It takes a point of view: the conservative version of hell is losing traction because it’s based primarily on fear. And Kevin Miller, the filmmaker, both blogs here and seems like the kind of guy whose posse I’d love to be in.
Kevin has been in touch with me as he’s finished the movie, he’s screened it at Wild Goose, and he was kind enough to send me a screening version, which I watched last weekend. But you come to this blog not for platitudes, but for the truth, and the truth is: I liked this documentary, but I didn’t love it.
Here’s what I liked:
- Clips of Mark Driscoll and John Piper preaching
- Brian McLaren, Greg Boyd, and Frank Schaeffer
- The two women who were interviewed: Sharon Baker and Jamie Clark-Soles
- The dude who refused to shake Ray Comfort’s hand
Here’s what I loved:
- Kevin Miller’s questions
But all that was not enough to outweigh what I found lacking:
- Only two women were interviewed (and no, I don’t count Margie Phelps)
- Not a single person of color was interviewed. (I know some Black preachers, and they have opinions about hell!)
- Too much of the Phelps family
- No footage of a progressive preaching (only fundamentalists and an exorcist)
- Chad Holtz’s appearance gave me the willies, because he’s recanted everything he said on film. And he never blinks.
- After an hour, it became redundant.
- And, finally, I have no idea what the many minutes of footage of 9/11 and the 9/11 memorial site had to do with the film. I guess the tie was to the Phelps family protest, but, as I said, I don’t think that belonged in the film either.
Coming next week, a review of a documentary that I truly loved.