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Fall from Grace (2007)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 10 March 2007 (USA)
The shocking story of Rev. Fred Phelps, the Westboro Baptist Church, those who oppose it, and those who chose to leave it all behind.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Bill Bunten ...
Himself, Mayor, city of Topeka
Warren Carter ...
Himself, Prof, Saint Paul School of Theology (as Dr. Warren Carter)
Kelly Franz ...
Herself
Jeff Gannon ...
Himself, Pastor
Pedro L. Irigonegaray ...
Himself (as Pedro Irigonegaray)
George E. King Jr. ...
Himself, Pastor
Ed Klump ...
Himself, Police Chief, city of Topeka
Mike 'Gunner' Minor ...
Himself, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association
Fred Phelps ...
Himself
Jonathan Phelps ...
Himself
Sara Phelps ...
Herself
Timothy Phelps ...
Himself
Rebekah Phelps-Roper ...
Herself
Shirley Phelps-Roper ...
Herself
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Storyline

The first feature-length documentary to explore the hate-filled world of Rev. Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, KS. Since the mid-90s, this group has participated in nearly 25,000 anti-homosexual demonstrations around the world. With signs that say things like "God hates fags," "You're going to Hell," "Thank God for 9/11," "God hates your tears," "Thank God for dead soldiers," the small congregation of 75 members has garnered international attention, especially now that they have targeted military funerals as a venue for their picketing. 'Fall From Grace' features interviews with Rev. Phelps, other members of the church, many of its dissenters, and two members that left the church and their family behind. Written by KRJ

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Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

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Release Date:

10 March 2007 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$7,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Featured in Religulous (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love
Written by Peter Scholtes
Performed by Satellite Soul and Janette Crawford
Produced by Tim Suttle
Mixed by J. Hall at Theta Rhythm
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User Reviews

 
both sides only present, no hard questions asked
11 May 2012 | by (Michigan) – See all my reviews

I really wanted to like this film for educational value, but the filmmaker only presented both sides without asking any of the hard questions. One reviewer said that the Phelps Clan was allowed much unedited time to talk and was allowed to "hang themselves". I doubt if the Phelps's or their sympathizers feel that way, more on that below in the hard questions section. Frankly they didn't sound as nutty in the film as they have in the past on other TV shows and radio programs I have heard. For example, I can't remember the DVD, but Fred Phelps said without any qualifiers "this country is doomed." Well, he was much more precise but I remember clearly thinking "ok, if there is nothing we can do, why don't you sit down , shut up and wait for the end?" Perhaps in fairness, the producer wasn't able to ask pointed questions, but if he spent a month with them and felt comfortable, seems like he could have or at least explained why he didn't in the bonus features. For example

  • do the Phelps clan all agree, all 13 children? If so, that is


amazing. I suspect some don't, interview them too! Does he feel his ministry is a success if they don't attract any new members? Is there any value at all in loving your neighbor as yourself or does that only apply to people you agree with? Do soldiers protect their rights too, not just "fags?" Or are soldiers completely unnecessary? What about the Good Samaritan? The reason that story is so powerful, which is often lost today is because Jews and Samaritans hated each other. At the very least, doesn't Christian charity at least mean being courteous enough not to shout over someone else during a debate? In essence ask these people why they believe as they do. Best yet, and so far unexplored in the debates I have seen - most of the clan are lawyers. Someone should mention that the free speech they cling to strongly is also constitutionally matched with the idea that people are free to believe in any religion they want or none at all. No one seems to have ever mentioned this that I'm aware of. As an aside, I wish the Phelps clan felt as strongly about dishonest politicians and big business. Not charging interest is in the Bible too! There's much more, but I would say the opposition in the film was way too tepid and this film does not really give most people any new information despite being well done.


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