Coming to DVD/VOD today, Tuesday, March 6: HOLY ROLLERS: THE TRUE STORY OF CARD COUNTING CHRISTIANS
Bryan Storkel’s documentary debut about a team of Christian blackjack players made its world premiere at last year’s Seattle International Film Festival. Since then it’s appeared at more than two dozen additional fests, including (fittingly) Las Vegas, Sidewalk Moving Picture, San Diego, Raindance, Denver, Oxford, and Big Sky, picking up seven awards along the way. DVD and VOD are being handled by Warner Bros Digital and Gravitas Ventures, with DVDs available via the the film’s website. and VOD through iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Blockbuster, Vudu, Xbox, AT&T, Verizon, DirecTV, Time Warner, and other providers.
The concept seems incongruous – young Christians, including a number of pastors, working together to form the “Church Team,” a professional card counting group with the aim of winning ridiculously huge sums of money from casinos by playing high stakes blackjack. And incongruous it is – reconciling gambling for a living with the strictures of their faith is something that is addressed and readdressed throughout Storkel’s engaging, fast-paced film. While some of the affable team members have found some way to rationalize their participation – one teammate is convinced blackjack is his calling, and uses Bible verses to remind himself that God is responsible for his winnings and losses – others find themselves ultimately unable to come to grips with leading a Christian life and taking advantage of a system to win money. While initially wildly successful, the Church Team soon faces serious growing pains, and potentially bankrupting losses, leading to soul-searching, speculation about how much they trust one another, and even a startling confession before the film, and potentially the team, runs its course.