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If God is our pure, all-loving creator, can he really turn his back on sinners and allow them to suffer for eternity in hell? Where did this vision of hell come from? Is it possible we've got hell wrong? Or are recent challenges to the traditional view merely an attempt to avoid the inevitable? "Hellbound?" is a feature-length documentary that seeks to discover why we are so bound to the idea of hell and what our views on hell reveal about how we perceive God, justice, the Bible and, ultimately, ourselves. Written by
Unlike Michael Moore, whose documentaries present a clearly biased and one-sided view, Kevin Miller's documentary on the nature of hell is nicely balanced and thought-provoking. True, it becomes clear that the filmmaker is leaning towards a position on the subject but I'm willing to grant him that, as his leanings towards Christian universalism run so counter to the popular protestant understandings of hell.
As a critique, the film has a gaping hole in the shape of the catholic view on hell -- there is no mention of the doctrine of purgatory, which would have added significant weight to the discussion. Given the catholic church's position in the development of Christian doctrine, the decision to ignore that voice is disappointing.
The film is clearly meant for an audience of 'believers', but the material is well-presented and offers an opportunity for discussion amongst all people, regardless of their faith. That, I think, is the best quality for documentary films like this one -- that it can facilitate meaningful and intelligent discussion without the awkward discomfort of trying to artificially promote an agenda.
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