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Audience of One (2007)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 238 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 29 critic

A documentary following a Pentecostal minister who receives a vision from God to create an epic science fiction movie based on the biblical story of Joseph, sending him and his followers on a journey of extreme faith.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Richard Gazowsky ...
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Pietro Manigrasso ...
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Storyline

Ten years ago, a Pentecostal pastor from San Francisco was praying on a mountain top when he received a vision from God to spread the Gospel through filmmaking. Using donations from his congregation, he slowly transformed his church into a fully functioning movie studio, and the production company Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks was born. After experimenting on a number of small projects, Pastor Richard Gazowsky announced that he and his WYSIWYG crew were going to make a film entitled, GRAVITY: THE SHADOW OF JOSEPH, a biblical science fiction movie that would redefine the Hollywood epic. AUDIENCE OF ONE is a documentary that chronicles the making of GRAVITY. This verite style film goes inside a Pentecostal church, where the charismatic Gazowsky leads his loyal cast and crew on an incredible journey that tests the limits of faith. From pre-production at their church, to shooting principal photography in Italy, to leasing an enormous studio on an island in the San Francisco Bay, AUDIENCE OF... Written by Anonymous

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9 March 2007 (USA)  »

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Documenting a delusion
26 June 2007 | by (Rockville, MD) – See all my reviews

A pentecostal preacher sees his first movie at age 40. He receives a vision from God telling him to produce a science fiction epic. He convinces his family and parishioners to dedicate all their money and time to shooting this movie in Italy, on a 65 mm camera. The plan involves God providing a 200 million dollar budget after they start shooting. No, just in case you were wondering, this isn't going to end well.

Director Mike Jacobs gives us a front-row seat as Pastor Richard Gazowsky and his Christian WYSIWYG production company fight a losing battle against reality. Thirty years after Jim Jones led a similar San Francisco congregation on a descent into madness, there's an element to this tale of history repeating itself as farce. Yet Gazowzky comes off more like a deranged version of the Music Man than a sinister cult leader. He's a charming and naive huckster who has conned the people around him, including himself, into indulging his fantasy. When he bravely led his wife and kids onto the stage at the Silverdocs Festival to answer audience questions, it was hard not to feel some grudging admiration for a man who is so unwilling to let others discourage him from pursuing his dreams.

But "Audience of One" relentlessly chronicles his reckless abuse of other people's money and faith in pursuit of those dreams. At times, the terrible decision-making on display is stressful to watch. This is a fascinating character study, and a fair and honest treatment of a strain of religious faith that deserves to be seriously questioned.

It is a rich irony that God's plan for Richard Gazowsky gave us an excellent film after all.


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Recent Posts
Conman or naive guy in denial? dinkamrat
Paint it any way you want, but this film is about Major Self Delusion... deckard-53
the ending track vortex_lip
The Ending (whoa!) lurm
Wow... unclemike1
Pastor Richard has not given up hope! misterajc
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