Screen Door Jesus

"Good"

Screen Door Jesus Review


When I lived in Austin, Texas a decade ago, it seemed like everyone was trying to make a movie like this. Drive out to a small town, use the local color, and tell a simple story about what life is like in the burg somehow or another.

Good to see they're still trying to make 'em. Screen Door Jesus is just one of these rural fables: A small film with a lot of emotion that struggles desperately to make a point. Unfortunately in this case, it's actually a whole bunch of points about Jesus, religion, race relations, poverty, and all manner of small town concerns.

Director Kirk Davis plops us in the familiar scene of the prophetically-named town of Bethlehem, Texas, where a woman has discovered a stain on her screen door that looks exactly like Jesus Christ. (I'd argue that these Jesus-lookalike events tend to occur not in Texas but rather in Florida, but that's another bone of contention.) Naturally this creates havoc as (minor) media and a legion of Bible thumpers descend on her modest shack, trampling her beloved garden in the process. Surely Jesus wouldn't stand for her flowers being trodden upon!

Meanwhile we're privy to stories about a poor man seeking a loan from arguably the only wealthy man in town, the local banker; a blackmail plot against a local politician by a red-haired vixen and her semi-boyfriend; and a couple of cops who argue about the literal interpretation of the Bible, particularly regarding homosexuality (as an "It's Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!" group of crusaders arrive on the scene).

Unfortunately while some of the tales are curious and even interesting, but as a whole (the film is based on a set of short stories) they just don't work together. Davis wants to make a southern Short Cuts but it doesn't quite pan out. The result is a collection of very small mini-movies that come off as mostly fluff, intercut with several too-obvious segments where characters debate the nature of religion in ways that no real person ever would.

Still, Davis has ambition to burn and should be commended for shooting for the stars. That he had to go through the entire Old and New Testaments to try to get there is, alas, unfortunate.



Screen Door Jesus

Facts and Figures

Run time: 119 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 12th March 2003

Distributed by: Indican Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kirk Davis

Producer: Sam Adelman,

Contactmusic


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