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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Jesus Camp: Ewing and Grady testify

As attacks on Boys of Baraka directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing‘s new doc, Jesus Camp, accelerate, they talk sect vs. secular with Annie Nocenti at Filmmaker. Of the bubble the Jesus Camp kids live in, Ewing says, “Two types of parents home-school: far-right conservatives and the far left, the hippies. Anyone in an extreme situation wants to remove his or her children from the mainstream. That is their right. But you can’t shelter somebody forever. JesusCamp_levi_450.jpgEventually they’re going to interact with the outside world, and the parents’ hope is that their children will stay strong and be for God.” And what about the dogs? Nocenti asks, “When one of the mothers says something ridiculous, you cut to a dog looking up startled, almost like an eyebrow raised. I thought, Is that Heidi and Rachel’s POV?” Grady concedes, “You’re right.” Ewing says, “We have to be honest. You are right. It’s not like the dogs are the director’s voice necessarily, but we do have two scenes where we cut to dogs.” Grady adds, “The dogs look into the camera like, ‘Huh? I just live here.'” Nocenti asks, “What about the comparisons of the political side of the Jesus Camp training to the extremist Islamic madrassas? Is that a fair comparison?” Grady answers, “It’s fair in the way that you can make a comparison of all fundamentalist religions worldwide. They have something in common: blind faith.” But Ewing adds, “I initially said something similar. But comparing the kids in Jesus Camp to the kids in madrassas is a little overstated, just like it irritates me when people bring up Hitler Youth. The difference is that Evangelicals do not need to strap on guns and bombs. We have something called a democracy, and these children are learning how to utilize the offerings of this democracy to get what they want. That’s what the movement’s doing. They’re not doing anything illegal… Their leadership keeps abreast of every single hot-button issue, and that’s legal. These guys aren’t going to kill anybody, ever.”

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“With every table in the dining room occupied and me, the only waiter, neglecting the needs of a good fifty patrons, I approached Roth. Holding out Balls as a numbness set into the muscles of my face, I spoke. “Sir, I’ve heard you say that you don’t read fiction anymore, but I’ve just had my first novel published and I’d like to give you a copy.”

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“After which I went back to work.”
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“Any form of physical or sexual assault is a very serious matter, potentially a legal matter. But I’m also wondering, what about having some kind of “extreme asshole” clause? I know lots of people who have been abused verbally and psychologically. That’s traumatizing, too. What do we do with that?  It takes a lot of energy to be an asshole. The people I admire most just aren’t interested in things that take away from their ability to make stuff. The people I really respect, and that I’ve met who fit this definition, have a sense of grace about them, because they know that there is no evolving and there is no wisdom without humility. You can’t get better if you behave in a way that shuts people off. You can’t! You don’t have all the ideas necessary to solve something. You don’t! I’m sure if you spoke to Harvey in his heyday and said to him what I just said to you, he would believe that he accomplished all that he had because of the way he behaved.”
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