On an unassuming corner in Fort Pierce, Florida, it’s easy to miss the insidious war that’s raging. But on each side of 12th and Delaware, soldiers stand locked in a passionate battle. On one side of the street sits an abortion clinic. On the other, a pro-life outfit often mistaken for the clinic it seeks to shut down.
Using skillful cinema-vérité observation that allows us to draw our own conclusions, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, the directors of Jesus Camp, expose the molten core of America’s most intractable conflict. As the pro-life volunteers paint a terrifying portrait of abortion to their clients, across the street, the staff members at the clinic fear for their doctors' lives and fiercely protect the right of their clients to choose. Shot in the year when abortion provider Dr. George Tiller was murdered in his church, the film makes these fears palpable. Meanwhile, women in need become pawns in a vicious ideological war with no end in sight.
Mormons in California and Utah, following their prophet's call to action, wage spiritual warfare, fueled with money and religious fervor, against LGBT citizens and their fight for equality. This exploration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ involvement in the passage of California's Proposition 8 reveals a secretive, decades-long campaign against lesbians’ and gays’ right to marriage.
Directors Reed Cowan, a former Mormon missionary, and Steven Greenstreet deftly investigate this ongoing battle through three telling perspectives: personal, political, and ideological. They are careful not to succumb to emotional rant but choose instead well-researched data and a range of interviews with politicians, historians, and those most affected by the outcome. One such couple is composed of Spencer Jones and Tyler Barrick, who is the direct descendant of Mormon polygamist Frederick G. Williams. Cowan and Greenstreet's film tellingly reminds us that, if any common ground can ever be found, it must be based on truth and transparency.