The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Docu-movie Hellbound

, Robin"]Just watched a preview of Hellbound: The Movie.

Must confess: I am very impressed. I am looking forward to its release (21 Sept in North America)

It’ll be sure to get people talking.I’ve put the trailer on our front page in the Site Announcements :sunglasses:

[tag]kevinmillerxi[/tag] is there any news regarding the release in other countries, like Australia & the UK?


I noticed that the first screening on your list (Sept 12) is at Nashville, where you’ll be having a Q&A session afterward.

I live in TN only three hours from Nashville, so if you wanted to fill out the panel with a local Christian universalist author (and admin for the EU forum), I’d be happy to volunteer.

(After all, this is the Volunteer State. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: )

I may still be at the screening anyway, of course.


Do you have an idea yet as to what time the screening in Nashville will be this Wednesday? (Theater screening dates and locations can be found on Kevin’s page here, but screening times are not available. Movieline phone numbers for the theaters are provided.)

Kevin says they’re going to have Michael Hardin (of and author of The Jesus Driven Life) and Frank Schaeffer (son of theologian Francis Schaeffer) there. (Me, too, hopefully, although possibly not as part of the official Q&A, since obviously I didn’t have anything at all to do with the movie. :mrgreen: ) Going to do about a 20-minute Q&A in theater and then invite people across the street to hang out at the Fido Cafe.

All the info is here:

Showtime is 7pm. Q&A in theater will last for 40 minutes max.

I’m still technically on schedule to be there, although factory management being fluky my schedule could still easily change. :unamused:

I’m planning to be there too! I look forward to seeing/meeting you Jason.

I saw the movie last night and I also met Jason! The movie was great and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Jason.

Kevin did his best to raise the question of the doctrine hell, show that infernalism, annihilationism, and universalism have been within the bounds of Christian orthodoxy since the early church, though infernalism has been the predominant view. imo, the movie does lean towards either affirming universalism or at least hopeful universalism. The only thing I was disappointed about was that Talbott was not in the movie, though Kevin later shared that the interview with him would be in the DVD pack.

It was a good movie, one I plan to encourage others to see. Of course, it will likely be denounced like Rob Bell’s book because it shows that many people question, even disagree with the concept of ECT. It would be a great movie to launch a discussion/debate concerning the issue of hell.

Jason, it was a pleasure meeting you!

Great to meet you, too, Sherman! :smiley:

And Kevin, too! Who easily recognized me from my picture, btw. :wink: (Joke between me and Sherm. I suspect my hair has gotten significantly whiter in the past four years since I took that avatar photo. Gosh, it’s coming up on four years on the forum now… :cry: {feeling old}

I’m sorry I had to leave relatively early, but allergies have been giving me sinus headaches for a while, and that room at the back of the grill was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too loud. :frowning:

I’m back at the office now, and will have some thoughts on the movie later. The only real weaknesses I can think of right now are not Kevin & Co.'s fault, but are inherent in the material and format they had to work with. (One relatively minor exception, maybe, to be discussed later.) It’s worth picking up, or going to see, but not for study purposes. (Although the DVD may help with that, as they’ll be including a lot more of the interviews, including ones which had to be omitted for sake of best topical flow/presentation/time, such as Tom’s mentioned by Sherman.) As an introduction to the fact that there’s even some kind of real dispute, it serves fine, and I think that was Kevin & Co.'s primary goal. The audience laughed several times at appropriate places–always a sign of good design. :sunglasses:

Brothers it’s excellent to hear good reports! It’s also cool that you got to meet each other offline too :sunglasses:

Okay, now for more specific thoughts (keeping in mind I saw it two nights ago). These are not in order of importance, or even in topical order of the film necessarily, just as they occur to me.

PRO: For a film largely shot on handheld, it’s composed well. Also, while bobbing is a natural problem, there isn’t as much as it could be. (My tolerance for naturalistic handheld bobbing in films steadily wanes the older I get. :wink: )

PRO: One thing I somehow didn’t gather from other pre-release reviews so far, is how much of the film is structured around the anniversary of 9/11 (looks like the 10th last year. The Nashville screening occurred one day after the 11th anniversary this year.) This was a very good choice, as it helps give people on every side solid emotional and logical connections to the question of punishing people who, by human standards, have gotten away with crimes in this life, or with only a relatively minor payback (Hitler quietly suiciding in his hole etc.) Almost none of the people in the movie talk about 9/11 as an example, but that’s okay. Haunting echoes of the engines and the screams filter subtly through the soundtrack at key points, including the final swelling of the musical score at the end while looking at the memorial beams from across the bay at night.

PRO: Since natural human reaction will be simply for punishing those responsible for 9/11, it makes sense to segue immediately (once the tragedy is recalled and established) to the Westboro crew picketing at the anniversary. Those against post-mortem punishment may feel like they were put on the defensive by the opening, but do people in favor of post-mortem punishment really want to be associated with these clowns?? Kevin returns to them several times over the course of the film, and wisely ends their contributions with a nice stinger that catches them clearly off balance; but he fairly allows them to score a lot of what they obviously regard as points in their favor, too. I don’t want to spoil by too much detail, though.

PRO: Having the interview with the atheist friend, to kick off the ‘official’ commentaries, was a good idea: some of what he says will be counter-balanced in different ways by universalists later (all would say it isn’t about being “wussy”, some would say there’s still punishment involved), and it’s an interesting way of beginning to introduce the conceptual issues, especially in a way that non-universalists will like. (See, even the atheist thinks we have an important point here!)

PRO: There seems to be about an even number of universalists and non-universalists interviewed (aside from a grab-bag of oddities like the death metal guys). My impression from what I recall is that the balance is also roughly even between professionals and non-professionals. This includes a street-preacher evangelist for the non-universalists, who despite his pushy approach is easily distinct from the Westboro crew in that he’s actively trying to evangelize people. (My guess, by the way, from how they proceed would be that the Westboros are hardcore Calvs, and the street preacher is Arm, but I’m much less sure in his case. More on this later.)

[size=150]PRO: Maybe the[/size] most important Pro is that Kevin seems to give non-universalists plenty of exposure to make their conceptual points. I’m not sure why any of them would think they were crucially shortchanged or misrepresented. (This is such an important Pro I meant to save it for the end, but then forgot to include it! :unamused: So I’m adding it back here close to the beginning, with some bold and font-ups for emphasis. None of my relatively minor criticisms below, even all together, outweigh this one single Pro in the movie’s favor.)

CROW/PRAWN: The death metal guys are interesting for color, but I’m a little fuzzy about why they’re in the film thematically.

(When I’m unsure if a point is Pro or Con, or when I see there’s substantial amounts of both, I like to conflate them this way. :smiley: )

CROW/PRAWN: The judgment-house segment is interesting, and I like the little stinger at the end (which in the post-film interview Kevin said almost didn’t make it into the film because he was so disgusted with what was happening he just wanted “to get the hell out of there”. :wink: ) The film crowd laughed when one of the leaders (all young adults, presumably in youth ministry) said that they weren’t trying to scare anyone with it. (!!!) However, on further thought about the matter a couple of days later, while discussing the film with my mother, I had to admit that the judgment house guys have a valid technical point that they’re getting across, even if in a lurid way: and it’s a technical point I didn’t think was acknowledged enough by the film editors/writers. If people are punished by God post-mortem (or at all), it’s because of their sins. And some of the kids who die in the fictional school shooting, or the girl who dies in a rape-murder–they’re sinners, too. That’s part of the plot, and a main point of the judgment house designers, and it’s also true in real life. This leads to the second most problematic CON I have with the film as a whole, but I’ll get to that later.

CROW/PRAWN: While annihilationism is eventually mentioned, and compared to ECT and Kath, I don’t recall anyone making any kind of argument for it compared to ECT and Kath. If I didn’t happen to know better, I would come away from the film thinking there were no annihilationists interviewed, whereas I just happen to know Gregory Boyd is anni. I realize that for a 90 minute film there has to be simplifications, so I understand why strategically the plan may not have been to cover their position, too; but I know how annoyed I’d be if annihilationists made a film alerting people there’s a real debate going on between ECT and anni at various cultural levels throughout Christian history (including especially today), while barely mentioning universalism and basically waving it off when doing so.

CROW/PRAWN: Most of the non-universalists interviewed happen to be Calvinists (where there are relevant distinctions mentioned). Out of the four people interviewed who made relevant distinctions clear enough to tell they were Arminianistic, two were Western and Eastern Catholic (an EOx priest or bishop, and the Boston College RCC apologist and Lewis fan Peter Kreeft) and both of those were hopefully agnostic about whether anyone ends up in hell. (Kreeft’s interview anyway focused on the leeway allowable in (modern) Roman Catholicism, so whether he actually accepts the leeway or not that’s the impression he gives.) The two remaining Arms, Jerry Walls and Gregory Boyd, effectively spend their time talking about how universalism ought to be respected, not so much reasons to believe universalism isn’t true. This was an odd structural choice, if intentional–not a major problem, but it leaves the impression that the Calvs are the hardliners insisting on a ruthlessly judgmental God while the Arms are pretty close to being universalists. Having lived among Arminians most of my life, my experience is that they’re just as tough on judgment usually. Greg and Jerry are both big Lewis fans (as is Kreeft, perhaps incidentally), and in their respective anni/ECT ways they follow his theological line, but while that’s increasingly common for Arminians it isn’t the vast majority yet. Again, I realize the strategic point to trying to find a narrative thrust that doesn’t repeat points overmuch, and not to overcomplexify things for the audience, but I feel like this shades into misrepresenting the situation a little. (And certainly the various universalists repeat points between each other!) Robin Parry does overtly mention the combination of emphases toward the end with the positive formulation of combining the stresses of both Arms and Calvs, and that’s certainly helpful. As I said, this is a minor weakness, and in my estimate the largest weakness that Kevin & Co. had some control over. (There is a much bigger albatross hanging around the neck of the film, which I’ll talk about later, but Kevin & Co. couldn’t have done much about it. Or so I presume.)

PRO: Robin (aka “Gregory MacDonald”, whose book our forum is named after) has often been mentioned in other pre-reviews as the highlight of the film, and I agree he does especially impress. A whole film about him would be interesting. Personally I loved the completely trivial touch of how his interview takes place in a library or bookstore full of creaky shelves of old books! :mrgreen: :ugeek: :mrgreen: :ugeek: I suspect other reviewers like him best because he’s by far the most overtly conservative of the universalists on display (others may be as conservative but for whatever reason don’t have opportunity to come across that way). All the interviewed Kaths are interesting and personable (as are the Arms and some of the Calvs, even Mark Driscoll), but Robin (unsurprisingly) sounds the most ready to make a case conservatives would patiently listen to. As such, I think it’s a very wise move to save his interview segments for the last thirdish of the film, on the principle of saving the trump cards for last.

CON: Speaking of interesting and personable Kaths, however (for anyone visiting or new to the forum, I’m in the habit of abbreviating “universalists” as “Kaths” for katholicistic, so we have a nifty short nickname like Calvs and Arms :wink: ): there is one glaring horrible albatross of a weakness to the film, and that’s Chad Holtz. Not that what he says is much different than most of the other Kaths interviewed–he makes a really good point about C. S. Lewis that, even as a Lewis fan, I myself had to acknowledge years ago just before becoming a universalist myself.

But… OMG, but… {sigh} as most of us know, a few months ago, Chad admitted very publicly as part of doing pennance, that he was a serial adulterer addicted to sex and pornography, cheating on his wife many years, and that trying to find a way to escape the guilt of this without feeling threatened about being punished if he didn’t get his damned act together, was a major factor in becoming an ultra-universalist. His interview occurs a few months after his church fired him for publicly going Kath at the pulpit, which sounds like persecution until the viewer recalls that this was probably not the only reason they fired him (although they dang well should have fired him earlier for the other reasons if they knew about it!) My skin crept watching his interview segments, remembering his real rationales for taking his positions–and then I thought, yeah looking at the rather spartan lodgings I can tell he’s having to bachelor it–and then I remembered he literally was bacheloring it at this time because his wife had finally had enough and taken the kids due to his impenitent continuing misbehavior! (I may be slightly wrong about the timing, but it has to be closely before that happened if not afterward.)

The film makes no reference to this whatever, either because the format/editing was locked before Kevin & Co. heard about it, or because they knew but for some reason chose to keep him in without telling the audience what (by his own later testimony) was really going on. I very much want to hear Kevin’s comments on this issue. I have trouble believing he couldn’t have been replaced by a couple of minutes from Thomas Talbott (whose interview will be saved for the DVD extras). Or he could have been kept in to provide an unexpected thematic balance with some of the things said by the more hostile non-universalists (as well as by the atheist ex-Christian at the beginning!) about a lack of belief in hell being a problem for ethical motivation in this life.

I’m unsure what would have been best to do with Chad’s interview material; but in the current locked print of the film he’s a timebomb for opponents to point to, undermining the rationales of everyone else in the film who proposes ultra-universalism (which is almost every universalist, as it happens), simply by association. Because informed people will know what the ‘real’ story was with Chad, and he’s saying the same things they’re saying without any more indication than them of the underlying reasons for why.

(Note: Kevin Miller, the director, replies in regard to Chad Holtz and the difficulties involved there, in the next comment of this thread.)

CROW/PRAWN: most of the universalists who talk enough about their beliefs to register on the question of post-mortem punishment per se, tend to be ultra-universalists. (Chad Holtz being one of them, although I don’t recall if he says enough in his interview segments to indicate this.) Robin Parry is the only obvious exception I recall, and even he might be easily overlooked or forgotten. Some of the evident universalists don’t describe their beliefs enough to be sure one way or another, but I think the overall impression audiences are going to get is that ultra-kaths are more common than purgatorial kaths. This, by topical relation, goes hand in hand with preterism, which the film tends to lean at least moderately toward by weight in interviewing universalists. I’m unsure if this is a good or bad thing in itself (aside from being a pugatorialist and so naturally wanting more of that in the film :wink: ), but thanks to the connection with Chad it ends up being inadvertently problematic. I worry, from the way interviews are selected and presented and used, that non-universalists are going to come away from the film thinking “those guys really work hard to ignore some basic things said in the scriptures!–just like our side says they do!–even here in the film!” If more details had been provided by the ultra-u proponents, maybe that wouldn’t be quite so much of a problem. (Maybe: I’m a purga-u after all. :wink: ) And I understand, again, the desire not to utterly swamp the viewer with stuff. It’s hard to find a balance to show that maybe these guys have respectable reasons to disagree about, between bogging the film down in technical dispute on one hand and making it seem like one or both sides are just pulling things out of the air or by shallow and irresponsible prooftexting. So I don’t know that there was a better way to present the information, especially if it happened to be true that most of the universalists interviewed just happened to be ultra-u! This could be a constraint of the material and/or of the need for thematic structure. But I have some uneasiness about it, so.

CON: I called the Chad Holtz debacle the most problematic thing of the film, and I’m assuming it’s something that Kevin & Co. couldn’t do anything about–it’s just set up to ambush them inadvertently. But I’m not sure this other Con isn’t really my most problematic problem with the film.

Very rarely, if ever, does anyone in the film talk about salvation from sin and/or from sinning.

I want to watch the film again with an eye on that to make sure. My memory can’t decide if no one ever happens to talk about it, or if people talk about it only rarely, or if they talk about it but obliquely enough that my memory doesn’t clearly register it. I want to say Robin talks something about it, but I can’t clearly recall for sure.

But that’s connected to something that the non-universalists, even when they’re being lurid, have a major point about. Artistically, the judgment house guys (to return to a previous Crow/Prawn) have a subversion of emotional expectations they’re trying to get across. We see kids being shot up, and a woman (or women?–I couldn’t tell) being raped and murdered, and we naturally think, okay yeah, sure the guys who did that deserve to fry. But those victims were also sinners, and any impenitent sin is still a sin being held to and fondled. In its own way, the judgment house goofiness is making one of the points St. Paul is making in the second half of Romans 1 (transitioning into Romans 2): oh, you think these nasty hyper-sinners deserve zorching by God, do you? Yes indeed they do, no argument here, but so do you with any sin, no matter how small you think it is compared to them. You’re all in the same boat together, and if you’re impenitent about your sins you’re still going to be in trouble.

Now, I’d argue that Paul has more to say in undermining his audiences expectations, precisely on the point of judging sinners us vs. them: it isn’t only that “we” are as guilty and liable for God’s wrath as “they” are (even if “we” do “small” sins and “they” do “large” ones), but by the same token just as we expect and hope for mercy and salvation from God for us (even though we’re sinners, and even before we really start repenting of our sins), so God is longsuffering over “those horrible sinners over there”, too. We don’t get special privileges overlooking our sins because the sins are small or because we’re Christians; and those people over there don’t have any less hope than we do. In fact, we’re likely to be in more trouble for discounting their hope!

If the judgment house crew were also getting that idea across, the film didn’t present it; although from experience I doubt they were really getting much of it across anyway. (Certainly not to the extent a Christian universalist evangelist would do! :wink: ) But they were, in their own lurid and shocking way, trying to get across principles that are actually very important in Christian soteriology, even in Christian ultra-universalism (although ultra-u’s tend to deal with it somewhat differently than purga-u’s do.)

My main complaint here, then, is that whether or not the various universalists have a strong concept of being saved from our sins, that concept doesn’t come across as strongly as I thought it should. Or maybe felt it should: having lodged this complaint I now feel like some of them were talking about it in more roundabout ways than I would. As I said, I want to watch it again with an eye specially on this point.

But since a major concern of the non-universalists (including, with intentional irony, the atheist friend who was interviewed at the beginning) is that universalism means people just go to heaven regardless, I can’t help but wish there was more thematic focus in the interviews than was apparent to me (I want to be fair about qualifying this, because I do have some feeling that my impression may only be due to a difference in mode for how I’m thinking about it) that Christian universalism is about salvation from sin.

PRO: I thought I should save some pros for the end, so as not to go out on a critical note. :smiley: While personally I’m not very fond of preterism per se, I did appreciate that Kevin & Co. looked as though they went to Jerusalem to film one of their interviews (I forget with who) in Gehenna valley itself. In a nice green well-kept graveyard, if I recall correctly. That was a nice touch.

PRO: While personally I would prefer to see a whole film focusing on Robin Parry, I want to reiterate again that the quality of the universalist interviews overall was very good (as in fact were most of the non-universalists, although Kevin clearly has fun juxtaposing some things for comedic effect–which he doesn’t do for subtly critiquing the universalists, so I guess that’s a Crow/Prawn sub-point :wink: ), and I fully expect there will be viewers who would like to see and hear more from the other people interviewed, too.

Lastly, some remarks on the crowd at the showing. The theater wasn’t quite full to capacity, but it was easily over 80%, maybe close to 90%. There was an impressive line going around the corner and down the block when I arrived (near the tail end of it)–fortunately I had already bought my ticket earlier that afternoon when I got to Nashville. The crowd’s composition seemed to be students and teachers mostly (or ex-teachers), with maybe some ministry professionals. There were general laughs maybe 10 or 12 times, at appropriate places, and a couple short clapping spates. Afterward there was some moderate applause. Most people stayed for the panel afterward. When we finally broke up to leave, I posted by the main door to listen to people as they went out, and then meandered through the theater listening in on remaining groups, in order to get a feel for audience response. While obviously I couldn’t hear everything, what I did overhear was only positive or neutral discussion, no negatives. (Just as obviously, people may have left in huge disagreement but didn’t say anything, or nothing while I was near them.) The cafe meeting afterward was too loud for me to get a feel for discussion, and I left soon afterward due to sinus headache and no food since lunch. (Also I feel physical pain near more than one or two other people; not conducive to crowd situations. :wink: )

My general impression was that the film was a moderate hit. Keep in mind, though, that Vanderbuilt University (the largest in Nashville, and the campus of which the theater was next to) is somewhat notorious for having a very liberal (although important, easily Top 25 US) theology college. Also, one of the larger Unitarian Universalist congregations (the officially doctrineless kind we tend to gnash our teeth about here on the forum) has a church in Nashville, although I have no idea how much that affected the audience.

I’ll most likely buy the DVD, but I doubt I’ll drive another six hours and spend a tank of gas and a hotel room (plus a movie ticket) to watch it again. :laughing: And to be honest, I’ll mostly be buying the DVD for my own curiosity about extended material in the special features; not for the movie itself.

Would I show the movie to other people? Eh… maybe. It’s a very very basic introduction, but it does cover some issues; quite a few conceptual issues, more than I feel like it covered. What I mean is that intellectually I recall more things being discussed than it feels like to me were discussed. That’s probably an intentional design, and not necessarily a bad one, for ease of digestion. I would rather talk to people than show them the movie, though.

I wish Kevin & his fellow creators God’s providence in getting the movie out–and I hope they aren’t bit in the butt too badly by the Chad Holtz backlash! Which from a non-technical and practical standpoint is the main vulnerability I worry about for the film.

Wow Jason, long review! Let me address just one thing: Chad Holtz.

We knew about his “recantation” prior to locking picture. We discussed pulling him from the film, and we even made preparations to interview someone else in his place–a pastor who had gone through a similar experience. But after discussing it with several people, we decided to keep Chad in for the following reasons:

  1. Even though he claims his views have changed, the facts of what happened to him haven’t.
  2. Even though he claims his views have changed, what we filmed was an accurate depiction of where he was at during production of our film.
  3. Most importantly, it was very clear to me that his views were the product of a long process of reflection on the Scriptures, etc. For him to essentially turn on a dime simply isn’t believable to me. Something else is going on behind the scenes that we don’t know about. In short, I can say I don’t buy his “recantation” for a second. To that point, we also discussed putting in a disclaimer at the end of the film addressing his change of heart, but how were we to know he wouldn’t reverse his position again by the time the film came out? (We had these discussions back in June.) So we decided to leave things as they were.

Interestingly, Frank Schaeffer has changed his mind on certain things since we filmed him last fall, but we didn’t insert a disclaimer about that either. You simply can’t keep adjusting your film to accommodate your interview subjects’ changing whims. You document their thoughts at a moment in time and then move on from there.

Thanks for addressing that, Kevin. I also smell a rat in the recanting of his position.

Any universalist of any stripe and “sin level” could just as easily suspect their own motives for being a universalist for similar reasons.

Exactly. I interviewed Chad for over two hours. He was extremely well informed and eloquent in his views. I find it very difficult to believe they were the product of simply trying to justify his addictive behavior. He had thought this through on many levels. He is also a very gracious guy and I wish him and his family well.

Kevin ,

I’m curious what sort of things has Frank Schaeffer changed his mind on since filming?


While I agree, the ‘public’ fact of the matter is what opponents are going to come away with. And since he has no reason in the least (does he???) to lie about his excessive betrayals of his wife, that’s going to lend proportionate weight to his explanation for his underlying motivations in accepting not only Christian universalism but a version of ultra-universalism (no punishment coming to anyone at all).

But as I said, this is a problem that y’all were going to be stuck with no matter what you did (unless you just didn’t use him at all).

I’m very glad you commented on it, as I was curious from a technical filmmaking perspective among other things! (I have a broadcast communications degree I barely got to use before being called back home to take over Dad’s position in managing the family’s small factory. :wink: )

(I’m curious with Caleb about what Frank has since changed position on, too, btw.)

There was one more very minor Con that I didn’t mention in the main review, that I wanted specifically to ask you about, Kevin.

During the film there’s a fairly small chapel with an older priest in a white and gold vestment who let you come in and film him and his congregation during the sacrament of the Mass. (I seem to recall crucifix art, which would point toward him being Roman Catholic not high Anglican, right…?)

I’m curious about this fellow, because he’s introduced while one of your universalist interviews (I forget which one) is talking about how a doctrine of hell helps “gatekeepers” decide who can be let in and who has to stay outside the group. So there’s a shot of him welcoming some people in, and then a cut to him waving the cameraman off with a grimace and shutting the door to the chapel.

But then later in the film there are shots inside the chapel of him doing the sacramental service with the congregation. This happens at least twice (maybe three times…?), so it looks like y’all got in. But then, I also seem to recall each time he’s used, someone or other will be talking about church hierarchy in some unflattering way.

I really don’t know what to make of that; it leaves me confused as to the nature of your crew’s relationship with him. Did agree to stage the wave-off so you could have a visual illustration of how some churches behave?–but then he would tend to agree with you about that, so why use him only for visual examples of more general complaints about church hierarchy? He couldn’t have agreed with general complaints about hierarchy, being (literally) a hierarch himself, could he? But if he was generally against your crew being there, why did he let you in to film his service after all? Or if you came in for one service, and he learned something about your purpose afterward he didn’t agree with, then why did y’all go back again to film people going in for service?–just to capture him closing the doors against you?

I came away from those segments feeling like somehow y’all were taking advantage of him unfairly one way or another, although I find that hard to believe. (Or was the whole thing staged with actors???) It’s a minor Con, but with several other very obvious cases where you’re against the people being filmed/interviewed, the structure of the scenes with him combined with what the interviewees are saying during those shots, leaves the impression you’re against him, too–whoever he was–and yet it isn’t nearly as clear why you would be. (…because he’s a priest? But you have no problem favorably interviewing the Orthodox priest or bishop or whoever he was.)

On the other hand, reading back over my list I just recalled I was saving the single most important PRO for the end, but then forgot to include it! :unamused:

On further reflection I’ve moved it further up the list toward the beginning of the review, with strong formatting emphasis, because I want people to understand that all my relatively minor critiques put together don’t outweigh this one single Pro (not even counting the other Pros).