Dear Francis (2005) Poster

(2005)

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9/10
Saw this on Showtime. Way better than I expected.
Dan Darnell3 April 2011
Saw this on Showtime. Way better than I expected. Was skeptical because it follows a group of southern baptist college students going to Africa to save the world. But since it was on Showtime I figured there must have been some reason they chose the film. Glad I stuck with it. The filmmakers did a great job being true to the journey the students went on. The film really picks up about halfway through, moving on from information and into a surprisingly powerful story.

The last fifteen minutes of this film kind of blew me away. So powerful. Without giving anything away, it contains a section of scenes that rival any scripted film that deals with HIV/AIDS. Worth watching just for what they caught on tape.
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6/10
Christians preach distorted public health doctrine but get great interviews and frightening data.
accounts-12023 August 2007
This film is good and informative, but not to the level of votes it has received. The protagonists accomplished some good by focusing their AIDS/HIV education efforts on a high school in Swaziland. But they should be slapped for advancing an abstinence program when there's so much data indicating they don't work. Surprise, it turns out they are some stripe of missionary Christians (ballot stuffing by whom likely accounts for the very high scores this film has received on IMDb). In fact, many of the health officials interviewed describe numerous social and economic reasons why preaching abstinence would be useless here, but the producers/missionaries never seem to clue into that.

Dear Francis also subjects us to some fervent prayers that mostly reveal their misunderstanding of the situation. Aside from these serious and annoying drawbacks, the film is pretty good. Hairy scary factoid: of 35 people tested daily at the local health clinic, about 30 are HIV positive.
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