Wednesday, January 24, 2007

"Live" from the Sundance Film Festival

An interesting influx of impressions in my inbox today regarding two of the films being shown at the Sundance Film Festival ...

For the Bible Tells Me So (which I blogged on a few days ago) featuring our favorite Bishop of New Hampshire and

Save Me -- a film about a young man’s journey through a Christian "ex-gay" 12-step ministry featuring All Saints parishioner and fabulous actor Chad Allen.

Bryant Hudson offered this account of his experience at the For the Bible Tells Me So "post- screening Q&A":

+Gene was introduced last of the group, and the audience spontaneously rose for a standing ovation as be came forward. I must say I was a little surprised, though perhaps I shouldn't have been. I hang out with Episcopalians, or those with no participation in any church. I think I have not been aware just how important Gene is not only to us, but to many, many queer and not-so-queer folk as well, from a wide variety of backgrounds and religious positions today.

I came away from the film last night thinking Gene really is an Apostle to the World, not just
The Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, TEC, the Anglican Communion, or even the Church Universal. We should give thanks to New Hampshire for sharing him with us and with the World.

Amen, Bryant!

Equally intriguing were the comments of blogger David Swanson (blogging from Sundance for ) on "Save Me" ... check out the whole post here, but here's the part that impressed me:

One of the things that struck me about this film was how the filmmakers (some who are themselves gay as we learned during the question and answer time following the screening) portrayed the motives and stories of the conservative Christians who lead the ex-gay ministry with tenderness and grace. Is it possible that many in the gay community are more gracious in their understanding of Evangelical Christians than we are towards them?

Even more striking were the numerous men in the theatre who wept during the most poignant moments of the film, usually when the men in the 12-step program described the pain and brokenness in their pasts. How well, I wondered when leaving the theatre, is the church prepared to really understand this type of brokenness and this amount of pain? And how willing are we to acknowledge our own role in much of that painful memory?

Great questions ... and let's hope the film that inspired them is "coming soon" to a theater near you!

UPDATE: "Variety" just posted a review of "For the Bible Tells Me So." Check it out here.

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