JESUS TOWN USA
(Julian Pinder, Billie Mintz, Canada/ U. S.). 80 minutes. Rating: NN In the foothills of Witchita, the organizers and participants of a passion play with an 88-year history discover that their Jesus is a Buddhist. Great premise, but unfortunately, the film doesn’t find its groove until the last five minutes. Up until that point, directors Julian Pinder and Billie Mintz have a serious tonal problem.
They appear to be mocking the inhabitants of the small town, mainly via a jokey soundtrack. The strategy of making subjects look ridiculous is best applied to mean-spirited people, which these folks are not.
The last sequence – when they finally turn off the damned soundtrack and just tune in to a town meeting – has an emotional charge, but it just highlights where the filmmakers went wrong during the rest of the pic.
Here’s a good idea gone bad. Apr 24, 9:15 pm, Isabel Bader; Apr 25, 1 pm, Hart House; May 3, 9 pm, Isabel Bader
Jesus Town USA