God & Gays: Bridging The Gap

With gay marriage a flashpoint of U.S. political and moral controversy, numerous docus have addressed specific areas where gay rights collide against religious conservatism. "God & Gays" tries to take on the whole shebang, but scattershot focus, haphazard structure and some poor filmmaking keep the docu from its goal.

With:
With: Mel White, Deborah L. Johnson, Jason Stuart, Darlene Bogle, Alan Chambers, Mary Lou Wallner, Valerie Joi Fiddimont, Dave Grishaw-Jones.

With gay marriage and adoption a flashpoint of U.S. political and moral controversy, numerous very good documentaries have addressed specific areas where gay rights collide against religious conservatism. “God & Gays: Bridging the Gap” tries to take on the whole shebang, but its scattershot focus, haphazard structure and some flat-out poor filmmaking keep the docu from its goal. Pic will inevitably make headway on the gay fest circuit, but with many better films already available on the subject, “God & Gays” would require a major editing overhaul to win even modest educational or tube exposure.

Interviewees range from Midwestern Christian lesbians and a mother whose gay son committed suicide, to progressive church activists. Most tell personal stories rather than analyzing the overall debate, though Rev. Deborah L. Johnson unleashes a torrent of intellectual and theological arguments that seem way over the pic’s head — it doesn’t even try to follow up on her fascinating statements. There’s insightful and poignant material here, but poor camerawork and a vanity-project feel (helmer Luane Beck, a former actress, misses no opportunity to put herself and producer/life partner Kim Clark onscreen) leave viewers exasperated.

God & Gays: Bridging The Gap

Production: A Zernus production. Produced by Kim Clark. Directed by Luane Beck.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Scott Bayer; editor, Beck. Reviewed at Cinequest, San Jose, Calif., March 10, 2006. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Mel White, Deborah L. Johnson, Jason Stuart, Darlene Bogle, Alan Chambers, Mary Lou Wallner, Valerie Joi Fiddimont, Dave Grishaw-Jones.

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