Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity. As a counter-movement of the attitudes and practices of today's culture, one in six girls in the US has ...
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Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity. As a counter-movement of the attitudes and practices of today's culture, one in six girls in the US has vowed to remain 'unsoiled' until marriage. But the seven children of the Wilson family, founders of the Purity Ball, take this concept of purity of body and mind one step further; even their first kiss will be at the altar. For two years, the filmmakers follow the Wilson offspring as they prepare for their fairytale vision of romance and marriage and seek out their own prince and princess spouses. In the process, a broader theme emerges: how the religious right is grooming a young generation of virgins to embody an Evangelically-grounded Utopia in America. Written by
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The Bible tells us how to live, it doesn't walk around issues. There's confusion in the realm of marriage. Who can marry? Is it one man, one woman, is it anybody? And the people want it to be more about just love - and can we all get along - and tolerance and all. I think If we really look seriously at these issues you can find that tolerance can be a major part of the division.
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Fine, If Slightly Drawn-Out, Look at Evangelical Christianity in America Through the Observation of One Family
Virgin Tales is a documentary about the Wilsons, an Evangelical family of nine living in Colorado Springs, and their commitment to purity (especially sexual purity) and conservatism. It follows them for an extended period of time, through Purity Balls, home studies, and conferences, with a particular emphasis on Jordyn Wilson, who is in her early 20s and waiting for her husband.
What I found refreshing about this documentary is that Mirham von Arx allows the viewer to make their own judgment on the Wilson family's beliefs and practices. Apart from one or two moments (mainly the text at the end) which suggest a critique of Evangelicals like the Wilsons, this is purely observational film-making. There are no interviews with intellectuals telling us that "these beliefs are dangerous because..." or odd camera angles and haunting music to suggest that these people are harmful or delusion. It does not resort to mocking or manipulation; as much as any film like this can, it shows significant moments in the family's life without comment.
This documentary is, however, very singularly focused, with only the Wilsons really getting any camera time. While in some ways this is a good thing, as it helps to get a fuller picture of the family, it may also become a little tedious for some. Although some viewers may find the occasional connection between the family's beliefs and politics interesting, for those who already know what Purity Balls and Manhood Ceremonies are and how Evangelical Christian influence American politics this doesn't offer too much new. It will, however, make you think and reflect on religion (particularly Christianity in America), family, sex roles, and politics without actually being told what to think on these issues, and that is something in and of itself.
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