Thursday, September 14, 2006

New Documentary Features Kids ‘Taking Back America for Christ’

September 14th, 2006 posted by kendall at 5:17 pm

This thing is all over the map. I don’t even know how my mom and dad are going to feel about it.”

That’s how ordained minister Becky Fischer feels about a new documentary that examines her children’s ministry—and touches on just about every hot-button issue for American evangelicals.

“Jesus Camp,” by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady of Loki Films, follows three children who attend Fischer’s charismatic “Kids on Fire” camp in North Dakota. What began as a documentary on devout children eventually morphed into a provocative project on how the church approaches issues many see as helplessly politicized.

Ewing and Grady, who co-founded Loki Films in 2001, had produced the acclaimed “Boys of Baraka,” about inner-city kids who leave Baltimore to attend an experimental school in Kenya. One of the boys in the documentary was an aspiring preacher, and Ewing and Grady found the topic of children and spirituality so interesting they decided to consider it as a follow-up project.

“We ran across Becky Fischer and her ministry,” said Ewing, referring to Kids in Ministry International, which the passionate and energetic Fischer founded and directs.

“They called us over a year ago,” Fischer told “They called me and began asking questions, and I asked them a few questions.”

“Anytime anybody approaches you on a documentary film level,” said Fischer, “your first thought goes to ‘60 Minutes’ or ‘20/20’—those shows where they rip you apart.”

Fischer watched “Boys of Baraka,” which she called “fascinating,” and after some discussion was convinced the documentary was the right thing to do. Fischer also says she received a prophecy several years prior to the filmmakers’ call, in which she was told she would appear in national media talking about children and the supernatural.

Fischer talked with the children and parents that would potentially be involved in the shooting process, letting them know what might happen. “If you feel a red light in your spirit, if you feel something that’s not on the up and up, if something doesn’t sit well with you in your spirit, please let me know immediately,” she told them. All went well.

“I always took them to be very open,” said Fischer of Ewing and Grady. “I never got the feeling that they were trying to fish for anything. They were very cordial, very friendly—very open conversations.”

Read it all.

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