AMERICAN JESUS is now available on Hulu as well as Hulu Plus! And through the magic of embedded videos, it’s also available right here.
AMERICAN JESUS is an exploration of Christianity in every faction of American Life, from the bread line to the yoga studio. Christian cowboys, bikers and musicians, comedians, surfers and cage-fighters, they are all doing it for Christ. Directed by Aram Garriga.
Watch Aram Garriga’s compelling documentary about Christianity in America,
now on Netflix as well as iTunes, amazon and available on DVD!
“American Jesus is an important documentary that will redefine
how the world looks at America and how we Americans look at ourselves…
with a level of intuitive intelligence I’ve never seen before in a film on religion.”
–The Huffington Post
“AN AMAZING FILM….
one of the best and most interesting documentaries on religion.”
–Todd Brown, Twitch
“Fascinating and informative…
one of the best, if not, the best documentary on Christianity in the United States today,
lift your arms in prayer and say “Hallelujah” for AMERICAN JESUS.”
–Debbie Lynn Elias, Movie Shark Deblore
“Garriga is the new Alexis de Tocqueville..
“American Jesus” is to religion what de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America” (1835)
was to our national life then: a revealing outsider’s exploration of truths we Americans are too close to.”
–The Huffington Post
“…REQUIRED VIEWING FOR EVERYONE.”
–Red Letter Christians
Aram Garriga’s AMERICAN JESUS continues its festival run this weekend with a screening at SoulFest in Gilford, NH. As an added bonus, interviewee Frank Schaeffer (pictured) will be in attendance for a Q&A! Check out the SoulFest website for the full schedule of concerts, events, and other screenings.
AMERICAN JESUS continues its theatrical tour in Chicago, opening today at Facets Cinematheque. Garriga chatted with NPR’s Worldview this afternoon in anticipation of the Chicago premiere. Listen below. The interview starts at the 20 minute mark.
AMERICAN JESUS contributor Frank Schaeffer has a new book out, and it’s available for free today and tomorrow on Kindle/Amazon.
Further theatrical screenings include Webster U Film Series, St. Louis (June 13-15), Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis (June 16-17) and Park Circle Film Society, Charleston, SC (June 28th). More screening info at AmericanJesusTheMovie.com. For those watching digitally the film is available across all cable video on demand providers; check your local cable video on demand listings. Also available on iTunes, Amazon, Xbox and many others.
“Larry Fessenden, producer of the new documentary American Jesus, explains why Glass Eye Pix became involved in Aram Garriga’s exploration of the sometimes bizarre relationship between faith, materialism, politics and personal passions that is American Christianity.
I run a small production outfit in New York City called Glass Eye Pix. We are known for making independent horror-themed films with a psychological bent. Through the company I have produced such films as The House of the Devil, The Innkeepers, Stake Land and I Sell the Dead. My own films include Habit, Wendigo and The Last Winter. Why would a company known for making independent horror films get involved with a documentary called American Jesus?
The answer is that I am primarily concerned with the construction of meaning in our daily lives, in the human tendency to see the world through narrative. My horror films have been about how we invent monsters and demons to deal with reality. In some way the subtext of my films is that the monsters we invent are a comfort and help us frame and define our existence.
In Habit, the protagonist believes his girlfriend is a vampire causing him to weaken physically, when we the viewer can plainly see he is a drunk debilitating himself. In Wendigo a 10-year-old invents a mythical being to protect himself from the horror that his father has been shot by a disgruntled hunter in the woods. I have always felt that my films are fundamentally about our craving for religious and mythic narratives in a senseless and arbitrary world.
And so it was not a stretch when the filmmaker Aram Garriga came to me with his proposal to make a film that was then titled Pop Church. I had met Garriga at the Sitges Film Festival outside Barcelona, one of the great horror and fantasy festivals in the world. Garriga worked for the fest and played host to myself and my producing associate Brent Kunkle on more than one visit to Sitges…”
AMERICAN JESUS is now playing in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent and coming soon to Chicago. Also available on Demand and on DVD.
An exclusive clip is now available at Indiewire. See it here.
AMERICAN JESUS continues its theatrical tour in Los Angeles at the Downtown Independent starting tomorrow with a Q&A screening at 8pm with Director Aram Garriga, contributors Pastor Phil Aguilar (Set Free Soldiers), Craig Gross (“The Porn Pastor,” XXXchurch.com) & comedian Kerri Pomarolli.
Village Voice (LA Weekly) on AMERICAN JESUS: “Doc American Jesus is a Concerned Examination Rather Than an Assault on Christian Belief”
Yahoo on AMERICAN JESUS:
“American Jesus Takes an Unflinching Look at Faith in the United States”
The film is available now on iTunes, Amazon, Cable VOD and more.
“…[American Jesus] is a restless, sunnily shot, one-thing-after-another travelogue of the peculiarities of American worship and belief, and he could have pulled a full movie from most of its many, many pit stops: a West Virginia roadhouse of snake handlers and boogie-woogie piano; ’80s Christian alt-rocker Steve Taylor’s bizarre satirical anthem “I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good”; the entrepreneur behind a clothing line mixing Christ with MMA fighting; tough-guy pastor Keenan Smith, whose Team Impact preaches the word through feats of strength, snapping a board over his knee and later declaring “[America] was never founded for a freedom of all religions. It was founded for the freedom of Judeo-Christianity.
The vignettes pile up, all fascinating, many heartening. Garriga emphasizes non-denominational pop-ups catering to surfers, bikers, skaters, rockers, and believers disinclined toward main-line churches. A pastor at Amarillo’s Arena of Life says of his cowboy parishioners, “They feel like when they’re out in their pasture they’re closer to God than they can ever be in a building.” There’s a pair of comedians who target Christian audiences — and actually seem funny. Some of the pastors we meet even bother helping out the poor, a thing the Gospels mention more often than clinic-bombing.
The good feelings ebb in the final third, when Garriga turns the film over to journalists and authors like Michelle Goldberg and Frank Schaeffer, who thumbnail the currents that have given us Left Behind, the Creation Museum, and Evangelical Zionism, a movement whose endgame involves nothing less than ending the world for the betterment of all of us. All that deserves a full movie, as do most of the film’s subjects — but Garriga’s quick treatment of each is distinguished by stirring photography, empathetic interviewing, and a shrewd sense of who to let talk and who to cut off.
Especially strong: the surprise animated sequence illustrating a short story by David Dark that should rattle the teeth of the most literal-minded of believers. Scenes like that, along with many of the film’s portraits of the exotic flora sprung from this same ancient seed, mark American Jesus not as an assault upon Christian belief but as a concerned examination. There are ways to hold to something grand in your life without assuming everyone who doesn’t is going to spend eternity being flayed…”
From Steve Dollar at The Wall Street Journal:
Punk Rock Girls at BAM, ‘American Jesus’ and More in This Week’s Repertory Film
“In his quest to explore obsessive religious practice in the American heartland, Spanish filmmaker Aram Garriga discovers what Werner Herzog meant when he described the U.S. as being the most exotic place he ever visited. While drawn consistently to interview some of the most extreme subjects he can find on the fringes of Christianity—Pentecostal snake-handlers are only the beginning—Mr. Garriga is more comfortable with clear-eyed observance than a rush to judgment. Even evangelical surfers find a place in his documentary, which frames unconventional displays of faith against larger questions of national identity.”
See the full post at online.wsj.com.
AMERICAN JESUS is currently playing at IFC Center. For tickets: IFCcenter.com
Last night saw the premiere of AMERICAN JESUS at IFC Center in NYC!
Producer Carles Torras, Producer Brent Kunkle, Director Aram Garriga, and Producer Larry Fessenden at the New York Premiere of Glass Eye Pix’s AMERICAN JESUS, 5/14/14 © Kristen Driscoll Photography
Director Aram Garriga at the New York Premiere of Glass Eye Pix’s AMERICAN JESUS, 5/14/14 © Kristen Driscoll Photography
Check out more pics from the event here.
AMERICAN JESUS is currently playing at IFC Center. Not in NYC? The film’s also playing on streaming services & DVD. It arrives in Rhode Island at Cable Car Cinema tomorrow, Los Angeles at Downtown Independent starting May 23, and Chicago at Facets Cinematheque starting May 30. Check out AmericanJesusTheMovie.com for more venues.