its straightforward presentation makes it that much more absorbing... and frightening
For those looking for a much more in-depth analysis (like the filmmakers' previous mini-series on the Religious Right in party politics in America), this documentary might seem a little too short, or perhaps not focus quite enough on George W. Bush. But the film does work well at illustrating how deep the evangelicals have kept their fingers, more or less, into the American political system over the years. One sees how they tried to latch onto Nixon and how that (didn't) work, or how they wanted to cling to Carter until they realized (gasp) he was a democrat. More complex is how they had to go around with Regan, who promised some things but didn't deliver and whose vice president was a limp noodle who didn't really serve their interests once in office (albeit the religious right made up a lot of Bush Sr's vote in 88).
But then there's George W., who is, for all of his faults (and heck knows how many there are), a genuine believer in the faith, a Born Again who traded in his booze for Jesus and became the blessed figure for evangelicals who felt that politics were corrupted by Clinton. What the film demonstrates is this history as it unfolds from one administration to the next, going into Bush's and, in its presentation is just giving the facts as they lay. There isn't any of the muckraking of Moore's films, and it's not exactly a propaganda film for the religious right either (perhaps people like Falwell and Pat Robertson saw it was British-made and thought it was down the line as journalism). There may be some bias just by presenting the story as is, of the tortured relationship between those firmly in power in the government and those who preach and want their own moral code and laws put into practice.
How the film will play to the audience will depend on perspective. If you're on the left and have seen over the years what Bush did to the country and what kind of nutty (and often hypocritical) hold the religious right has on politics, then it will be seen that way. But there could be some right-wingers who watch the film and, if not 100% approve, then at least not foam at the mouth in bile like they do at a Moore film or other. It just presents the story, gives some of the pivotal figures their turn to speak (often in some really too-close close-ups), and how the tide has ebbed and flowed, and finally reached its peak with Bush and his "flock". It's competently produced and does its best to be fair and balanced, if ultimately showing, ultimately, how calculated and cunning the religious right really was and still is depending on the moment.
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