Symbolism In Jesus Camp

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Jesus Camp is a documentary film released in 2006 where directors Hedi Ewing and Rachel Grady document the events of an Evangelical children 's camp located near Devils Lake, North Dakota. The documentary focuses on the camp its self and the Evangelical Movement, but also on its leader, Becky Fischer, and three of the children in the documentary, Levi, Rachel, and Tory. This film is meant to provide a supposed un-biased look into the camp, and also the Evangelical faith its self. Clearly however, it is meant to show the indoctrination occurring in the camp and their disapproval of the Evangelical movement. This all during a very controversial time in our country in which Evangelicals have helped President Bush to be elected, who now is under …show more content…
The film has no verbal input or comments from Ewing or Grady, but, uses several cinematographic tools to guide viewers into agreeing with their two obvious opinions. One, that this camp is not teaching children, it is indoctrinating them. Two, the Evangelical movement is leading our country as a whole into a bad place. This is done subtly through the entire documentary, by using camera effects, sound, and lighting to help them portray a message without actually saying anything. Symbolism is heavily used throughout the film to portray the camp and its leaders as indoctrinators and hypocrites, not teachers. Symbolism is also used to voice their apparent views on Evangelists themselves and what the religion stands for and teaches. Scene selection and the overall structure of the film is also cleverly used to manipulate viewers into agreeing that this camp is indoctrinating children, and that the Evangelical movement is wrong, all without saying a …show more content…
At the beginning of the film Becky Fischer asks the children if they think that God can do anything. As soon as she asks this, the camera quickly moves to show a mother raising her child 's hand up. This is very important, as it is probably the best example of indoctrination in the entire documentary and it is placed right at the beginning, and rather dramatically. Soon after this there is a scene that shows the children speaking in tongues, then the camera zooms in on a specific girl and the color changes. This provides a very dramatic and eerie effect, how can a little girl be so in depth, praying in tongues? This, for me, was a shock factor, placed towards the beginning of the film to show how different these children are. When the actual Camp begins, one of the first talks by Becky Fischer is about sin, in which she used stuffed animals to relate to the children to how sin can grow. The camera zooms in on the stuffed animals, then goes to the sad faces of the children. This scene is showing how Fischer is using toys to make the children feel guilty and sad. Later on Becky Fisher tells the camera that she in fact does go to the store to specifically look for toys to use in her “lessons”. This only reaffirms that she is using toys, something that most children are very fond of and love, to indoctrinate the children and make them

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