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Kilday Bunks Up with 'Jesus Camp'

— posted by Sheigh Crabtree

Gregg Kilday talks to Jesus Camp directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady in THR's Film Reporter column today.Jc_poster_color

The movie's distributor, Magnolia Pictures, is platforming Jesus Camp in middle America before taking it to LA and NYC. The idea being that Evangelical Christians will have the chance to take it in before the national media gets on the soapbox.

The filmmakers tell Kilday that Jesus Camp actually grew out of a line of research the two conducted on their first film, The Boys of Baraka:

One of the boys, Devon Brown, aspired to become a preacher, and in researching schools for child preachers, the filmmakers stumbled upon a Web site belonging to Becky Fischer, a pastor who serves as director of Kids in Ministry International.

Given some of the extreme tactics Fischer employs and the filmmakers objectively capture — you really have to see it to believe it — it seems somewhat surprising that the pastor is one of the film's champions. But her's is the same kind of enthusiasm that Magnolia is hoping will blossom across the heartland:

"We met the parents and the kids, and they said, 'Bring it on, we're proud of what we're doing.' Five years or so ago, they might have said no, but I think they feel empowered as a community because they have a friend in the White House and think they are making great strides in reshaping the culture."

Read the rest of Kilday's column.

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