I must be on some kind of S&M binge because I've been very into disturbingly religious documentaries lately. Deborah 13 is about a 13-year-old girl from a small town in England who is being raised in a very Christian household. Actually, it's dangerously Christian. Her parents decided to only have a couple of children, but then "left it up to god" to determine how many they had. They have 10 total! None of the children are able to watch television or read a newspaper unless previously approved. Deborah, poor girl, has never heard of Britney Spears, Victoria Beckham, or any other idol that little girls have these days. Now, I'm not really saying those women are particularly deserving of idol-ship by teenaged girls, but to never have heard of them because your life is so closeted is sad.

The documentary is actually very recent... airing at the beginning of March on BBC. (I love BBC docs). It's a 6-part series that starts here if you're curious about watching. I would say it is not as severe nor horrifying as Jesus Camp was, but it is still a sad tale of a young girl being scared into believing.

The doc follows this girl through her day to day activities, often asking her questions about her faith and why she believes.. and it all ultimately boils back down to her fear of hell. She confronts people on the street and at college parties (that her brother takes her to) genuinely wanting to "save" them. She has this constant fear hanging over her head that is just heart-wrenching to see in a girl of such a young age. Not to mention the last interview scene just broke my heart. I wanted to give her a hug and strangle her parents.

If nothing else, these sad and frustrating peeks into the lives of the hardcore religious only solidifies my love for free thought and knowledge.

Views: 17

Comment by Sophie on March 23, 2009 at 2:06pm
Comment by Chelle on March 24, 2009 at 11:39am
I actually watched this one on the weekend before I saw your Jesus Camp post. The scary thing is that her method of witnessing to others and her explanations for why science is wrong are so similar to the Jesus Camp kids. So the same propaganda is being dished out to Deborah.
Comment by Paul Fryer on March 24, 2009 at 6:46pm
OK I'll get silly now. I think the music at the start of the documentary was by Yann Tierson from Good by Lenin, a film that, due to my Communist tendencies, I have a big fondness for. The film is based around the fall of the Berlin wall and the life of a woman who is in a coma when it happens. Her family are told that another shock could kill their mother (a devoted Communist) so they decide to keep the westernisation of East Germany an elaborate secret (an excellent film follows!)

Now this makes me think of this documentary. The elaborate secret being kept, that a way of life is fading and trying to keep that from those around you. I guess in both Goodbye Lenin and this documentary the people keeping the secret think they are acting for the good of those in the dark, but the sad thing in this documentary is that its innocent children being indoctrinated.

Of cause this could just be a piece of music chosen because it sounds nice . . . or it could be from the French film ‘Amelie’ in which case I’m truly full of shit!


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