Thursday, August 03, 2006


Left and Right

Here's an interesting item brought to my attention by regular "Movies on My Mind" reader/commentator "Silberg." It seems that after having been accepted into Michael Moore's fledgling Michigan-based Traverse City Film Festival Film Festival, Magnolia Films, the distributors of the Tribeca darling Jesus Camp, a documentary about Christian camps, wanted the film pulled from the festival for fear that any association with the Oscar-winning documentarian would cause the core audience for Jesus Camp to reject it. Wow! Doesn't sound like Magnolia Films has much faith in its Christian target audience! So, I guess what I am to conclude from this is the fact that a "Left" leaning festival accepting a straightforward "Right" leaning film is a bad thing? That's ironic, because I would think it was a good thing given that, perhaps, people with a particular view might be willing to at least consider a different point of view. Isn't that called tolerance? But Magnolia Films does not seem interested in tolerance, or for that matter, it would seem, a broader audience. Does Magnolia Films believe that polarizing an audience is the way to big dollars? Wouldn't the film, in fact, make more money if it could reach Muslims and Jews who were also interested (even if simply out of mere curiosity) in seeing it? What about lapsed Christians? (There's a huge audience not being tapped.) Was the investment in this film made on the basis that it would play to core audiences only, make back its money, and be done? I didn't realize Christians hated Michael Moore. But I guess the larger question here is not WWJD? but rather WWTCAJCD? (What would the campers at Jesus Camp do?)

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