Monday, September 03, 2007

viff07: for the bible tells me so

For The Bible Tells Me So
USA 95m

Thursday, Sep 27th 9:45pm
Empire Granville 7 Theatre 2

Sunday, Sep 30th 3:30pm
Empire Granville 7 Theatre 2

Directed By: Daniel Karslake

What does the Bible actually say about homosexuality? The term "abomination" is bandied about, but since the same word is used in connection with eating shellfish or masturbation, that might not be as dire as it first sounds. The hermeneutics of hate are given a precise translation in director Daniel Karslake's look at how a literal reading of the bible has been the justification for centuries of persecution, violence and hatred.

Karslake follows five different families, each with a gay member, as they struggle to reconcile their faith with their family, a process as enlightening and provocative as it is heartbreakingly funny. "We thought she was… a good athlete," says one set of parents about their lesbian daughter. Featuring interviews with Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes and Rabbi Steve Greenburg (one of the few openly gay Orthodox Rabbis), one of the most engaging ideas uncovered is the power of language to shape cultural values and cause untold human misery and suffering. In the days of the Reverend Ted Haggard, and Catholic Church sex scandals, the hypocrisy of perpetuating anti-gay rhetoric may seem almost an antiquated notion, but as evangelical elements continue to infiltrate the American government, the idea of state-sanctioned prejudice starts to appear far more ominous. “Powerful…a brave and noble effort..."--Salon. Winner of Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle Film Festival.

Salon: "Powerful... A brave and noble effort..."

Makes the expected claims about even-handedness, but the "hermeneutics of hate" phrase above suggests otherwise, and what's with "evangelical elements continue to infiltrate the American government"? Sounds a tad paranoid. One mustn't confuse blurb-writer with film-maker, of course, but if you can watch the film and not think twice about writing a phrase like that...

Seattle International Film Festival
Arts & Faith

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