The next couple of weeks are full of significant Jewish and Christian religious observances, starting with Palm Sunday this past weekend, and continuing with Good Friday this week, Passover beginning this weekend, and Easter on Sunday. The selections in Indiewire‘s latest curation of Hulu’s Documentaries page may not always directly tie into these specific events, but are all connected to Judeo-Christian concepts or believers.
“The Cross and the Towers,” by Andrew and Jon Erwin, views the events of September 11, 2001 and its aftermath through the experiences of seven individuals involved in the rescue work. At the heart of this inspirational film is the meaning and hope they drew from the cross formation discovered in the wreckage.
Sean Tracey’s “The Jesus Guy” documents the unusual story of the eponymous anonymous man who for nearly two decades has walked barefoot through most of the US and multiple other countries. Along this spiritual journey, this Jesus look-alike preaches his faith, foregoes worldly possessions, and confronts believers and non-believers alike.
“Lord, Save Us From Your Followers” finds director Dan Merchant, a Christian, examining why and how a religion predicated on tolerance and love has instead been co-opted to foster division and hatred. This often humorous and enlightening film follows him as he explores how people perceive Christianity and the church and various hot button issues.
Directors Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing visit the Devils Lake, ND “Kids on Fire” evangelical Christian summer camp in their Academy Award-nominated film “Jesus Camp.” Focusing on three devout young campers, the film reveals the often disturbing religious education (or indoctrination) they go through to become purified enough to join the “Army of God.”
The participants in Taglit-Birthright featured in Seth Kroll’s “Mifgash: Encountering Jewish Identity” are older than those in the previous film, but they too are connecting with their religion – just perhaps not as fanatically. Their trip to Israel put them in touch with their Jewish heritage – spiritually, historically, and culturally. Between tourist trips to significant Biblical sites and encounters with young Israeli soldiers, they confront what Jewishness means to them today.
The free-thinking patriarch of the Jewish family profiled in Doug Pray’s acclaimed “Surfwise,” Dorian “Doc” Paskowitz, had his own unique ideas about his role as a Jewish man. After spending time in Israel, he gave up a promising medical career and a conventional lifestyle to live life on the road, devote his life to surfing, and to nearly single-handedly repopulate the kingdom of Zion, fathering nine children.
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Indiewire @ Hulu Docs” is a regular column spotlighting the Iw-curated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. Indiewire selections typically appear in the carousel at the top of the page and under “Featured Content” in the center. Be sure to check out the great non-fiction projects available to watch free of charge. Disclosure: Some of the selections are titles provided to Hulu by SnagFilms, the parent company of Indiewire.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).