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Inspired by religious educational films her mother starred in while a student at Brigham Young University during the 1960s, director Xan Aranda revisits her ancestral religion (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) through the lens of two classics: a black-and-white Western portraying an historic clash between Mormon colonists and Pancho Villa in Mexico, and a jewel-toned yet tragic cautionary tale about marriage and doubt. As deeper threads of “LDS” beliefs are revealed, Xan explores the controversially clean-cut community she left behind – and her family’s spiritual fate beyond death.
Director/Producer: Xan Aranda ("Andrew Bird: Fever Year")
Executive Producer: Gordon Quinn ("Hoop Dreams")
Co-Producer: Rachel Pikelny ("The Trials of Muhammad Ali")
Camera: Peter Gilbert ("At the Death House Door"), Aaron Wickenden
About the Production:
"If you’d told me sixteen years ago (after I’d just left the Mormon church) that I’d someday intimately engage the religion within a documentary, AND direct that film with the same people who’d just produced HOOP DREAMS, I’d have called you crazy. Ideas for MORMON MOVIE emerged after Christmas a few years ago. As a gift for my siblings, I’d ordered VHS copies of a film my mother starred in at 19 years old. We laughed over the film’s B-Movie qualities, but I had a lot of questions about how and why that film was made. And, here we are." — Xan Aranda
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