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.