Despite repeated requests to pull the documentary "Jesus Camp" from his lineup, controversial filmmaker Michael Moore plans two screenings of the film at his Traverse City (Mich.) Film Festival this weekend.
The flick follows several evangelical Christian children who attend the "Kids on Fire" summer gathering in Devil's Lake, North Dakota. The camp is designed to deepen their spiritual commitment to a particular brand of fundamentalist Christianity.
Local attorney and syndicated Air America radio host, Mike Papantonio, appears in the documentary by acclaimed filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady ("The Boys of Baraka") and was featured at the film's world premiere to much acclaim at the Tribeca Film Fest in April.
Magnolia Films, who acquired the North American distribution rights last week, plans to market "Jesus Camp" to conservative areas and wants to distance the film from the polarizing appeal of the "Fahrenheit 9/11" director.
Papantonio, who chatted with Loaded Gun when the documentary debuted at Tribeca, feels like "Jesus Camp" is a well-balanced look into the politics of the evangelical movement. However, the outspoken radio host feels the film had a strong impact on the generally left-wing folks in NYC.
"People in the blue states don't realize that there's a political movement that really runs the risk of destroying both religion and democracy," he remarks.
"I have to tell you, it was a very startling movie," he explains. "I live here in the South and I understand what a political evangelist is, but until you see how spooky it can become you really don't have the appreciation."
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Click here for our review of the film "Jesus Camp."