Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Southern Gothic

I saw Searching for the Wrong-eyed Jesus on BBC 4 last weekend. If you get a chance to see it, I recommend it.

If David Lynch made a road documentary about the rural communities of the American South, it might look a great deal like SEARCHING FOR THE WRONG-EYED JESUS, Andrew Douglas' meditation on the nexus of music, poverty, and faith.

What struck me about this film is a picture of great rural deprivation, which made sense of the beauty of the art - particularly country and gospel music - but also made sense of the violence and extremity of the spirituality. These were people living with death and violence and drug addiction, everyone was talking about serial killers and their son died and their husband beat them, and in this context the Christian fundamentalism, which seems so destructive in the world at large, made emotional sense. Like in the Ballad of Billy Joe 'There was a virus and daddy caught it and he died last spring'. I could see how their evangelism made sense of their harsh violent world.

Go to church, take hideous drugs, do things with guns.... spend a lot of time talking about serial killers

I could understand how these people, formed in this crucible, then go out and try to ban evolution, and support the death penalty, and torture and give money to Falwell and all the rest of it, because it seems madness to us, but in their world it makes sense. A lot of the film is set in a real place called the 'Jesus is Lord all you can eat truckstop diner'. These are the people who elected Bush, and yet, they aren't evil people in themselves, they just come out of a harsh world.

EDIT: BBC4 interview with the guy http://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcfour/documentaries/features/jim-white.shtml
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