When Erik is asked what kind of music he listens to, he lists 66 different bands. This number corresponds to the 66 books that make up the Christian Bible. See more »
A remarkable coming-of-age-through-music film
Films that mention Jesus tend to fall into two categories. Some reek of a religious agenda and are idolized among the faithful while being dismissed as propaganda by everyone else. Others are satisfied with criticizing the behavior of religious people: often fairly, but sometimes to the point of ridicule.
Electric Jesus does neither, which makes it a simply wonderful film.
Set in the summer of 1986, Electric Jesus invites the audience into a piece of American culture that many have experienced, even if in isolated bursts that we never really learn how to talk about. We are invited to the intersection of adolescence and Christianity through a world of Bible camps, church youth group skating parties, and an aspiring hair metal band who are heaven-bent on making Jesus famous.
The story portrays the earnestness and innocence of teenagers surrounded by religion as they discover who they are in this world. The evangelical subculture that the story emerges from is neither mocked nor glorified; instead we are invited into witness the characters as they come of age. There are moments of giddiness, of youthful idealism, of stupidity, of awkwardness, and everything that comes with adolescent friendships that are as intense as they are short-lived because life has other plans. There are also moments that simply take my breath away because they are so very human that they seem to come out of nowhere in a comedy.
Electric Jesus allows teenage characters to carry the story with the same dignity that John Hughes perfected during the same decade that the story is set in. It is also a deeply satisfying film about music, telling the story of a fictional band that never makes it. The original music captures both the rollicking humor of the film while demanding to be taken seriously. Additionally, the Christian youth subculture of 1986--the music, the clothing, and the people--is captured with a meticulous eye for detail that provides pure delight to anyone who lived through it and an accurate glimpse for those who never found themselves being asked to commit their life to Jesus while sitting on the floor of a roller skating rink during a heavy metal altar call.
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