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6 user 2 critic

Questioning Faith: Confessions of a Seminarian (2002)

When Macky Alston's fellow seminarian, Alan Smith, died of AIDS, Alston had a crisis of faith that caused him to make this documentary. Alston sought out Smith's partner and family and ... See full summary »

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When Macky Alston's fellow seminarian, Alan Smith, died of AIDS, Alston had a crisis of faith that caused him to make this documentary. Alston sought out Smith's partner and family and tried to answer the question "Why does God permit such senseless tragedies" Written by Havan_IronOak@Bigfoot.com

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River Films

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July 2002 (USA)  »

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A bit disappointing…
17 May 2004 | by See all my reviews

'Questioning Faith: Confessions of a Seminarian' plays like a high school video project. Though there are some interesting characters, unfortunately, the filmmaker/ narrator, isn't one of them. He spends most of the film asking questions you'd expect to hear from a six-year-old, yet he's a seminarian, (as he reminds us many times throughout the film).

The documentary centers on the filmmaker's crisis of faith: why does a loving God allow bad things to happen? But the subtext of the film appears to be driven by his obvious sense of guilt at not being there for Alan Smith, a very good friend of his who died of AIDS. (And his excuses for this are just too pathetically trite: 1) I was so busy, 2) I didn't think he was going to die so soon, and 3) (the ubiquitous biggy) it made me think about my own mortality).

The following scene pretty much sums up the film for me: in a memorial for Alan, near the end of the film, the filmmaker is asked to preach the sermon.

He begins by saying something like, I want first to point to a window over there, uh, well, you can't really see it from here, it's on the other side of the building, but that's where I lived with Alan… That's sort of what the film is like: he's pointing to something, but not really showing anything.

Unfortunately, the filmmaker's problem with God just isn't very interesting.

Why God allows bad things to happen and people to suffer is an age-old question that this film doesn't bring us any closer to understanding. And as for his crisis of faith, Oscar Wilde said it best, 'Skepticism is the beginning of Faith.'


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