Continuing my spotlight on the second half of the 2013 Sundance US Documentary Competition: GOD LOVES UGANDA, Roger Ross Williams’ exploration of American evangelicals’ coordinated ideological campaign in Uganda.
Sundance Program Description:
A battle rages in East Africa, where crosses replace guns and shouts of prayer roar louder than missiles. American evangelical Christians have chosen Uganda, with Africa’s youngest and most vulnerable population, as their ground zero in a battle for the soul of a continent. American missionaries and religious leaders are working with African pastors in a radical campaign to eradicate sin through the most extreme measures. The stakes are nothing less than life and death.
Filmmaker Roger Ross Williams exposes the missionary movement in Uganda as an outgrowth of Africa’s colonialist past and a twenty-first century crusade to recreate a continent of people in the image and likeness of America’s most extreme fundamentalists. Williams captures vérité footage so shocking that viewers may be squirming in their seats. Masterfully crafted and astonishingly provocative, GOD LOVES UGANDA may be the most terrifying film of the year.
Roger Ross Williams’ MUSIC BY PRUDENCE won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short in 2010. This film marks his feature documentary debut after directing and producing a number of projects for TV and cable. Joining him as producer is Julie Goldman, who also has GIDEON’S ARMY and MANHUNT in the US Documentary Competition this year.
Why You Should Watch:
While Uganda’s proposed anti-homosexuality legislation, also known as the “Kill the Gays” Bill, has captured the attention of the West, Williams’ film broadens its perspective beyond one single issue to consider the much larger story and context in which such hatemongering has been able to be fostered. The result is a startling and enraging exposé on the insidious encroachment of a close-minded, dogmatic interpretation of a belief system used to divide rather than unite, with American fundamentalists turning a developing nation into a testing ground for dangerous cultural and ideological wars.
View the film’s teaser trailer here. Keep updated on the project at its website and Facebook page. For Williams’ thoughts on the film, check out his Meet the Artists profile for Sundance and Indiewire interview. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.