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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Watching: Fit for the Kingdom


I read about some documentary films from BYU in this Mormon Times article. The films are available at fitforthekingdom.byu.edu and began as a collaboration between a student and professor to make films that briefly focus on one aspect of living life as a Mormon. The website is titled Fit for the Kingdom: Documentary Films about Mormons. The filmmakers' goals are to show
films [that] are raw and basic, devoid of theatrics and excess emotion-inducing elements. The titles are also simple, with most being named after the person who is the subject of the film.

Most are really very simple films: a mother trying to get her pre-teen kids to turn off the video games, a young mother raising two little kids, a family reading the scriptures together (or trying to), a missionary cleaning out her car the day before she leaves.

Most are only ten to twenty minutes long and are great snapshots of the dailiness of living an LDS life. Here are a few that I saw and liked:

Girl's Camp--because snipe hunting is still an integral part of camp
Lloya--mother of eleven who is still growing as a mother
Lorien--thoughts from a missionary a day away from leaving home
Primary South London--this is the life of a Primary teacher
Ramona--young mother who is busy raising two little ones and sees her husband's sacrifices
Robinsons--a farmer in the colonies in Mexico (Dad, you will like this one)
Scriptures--does your family look like this when you read the scriptures?

But really, the documentary that is the most tender and evocative is the hour-long Angie. This film follows the three-year arc of a mother fighting breast cancer. It really comes from home videos that a film professor took to chronicle his wife's journey through the highs and lows of battling cancer. After her death, friends of his lovingly shaped the footage into a tribute to her for her family. It is not a graphic film, but it is a bit terrifying in its simplicity and dailiness. Angie is your neighbor, your friend, your sister, or you.

Maybe you will see your reflection in one of these films.

2 comments:

Meg said...

I will not be seeing "Angie" due to my amazing ability to imagine my own death from breast cancer for the next 10 days...but I'm glad you liked it. :)

Cissy said...

Ditto to what Megan said. Call it denial of real life, but I don't need a movie (or book or TV show or magazine article) to add to my already long list of possible early deaths. I think I'll check out those others, though.

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