Coming to theatres tomorrow, Friday, October 30: THE ARMOR OF LIGHT
Abigail Disney’s look at the intersection of evangelical faith and gun rights made its world premiere at Tribeca. Other fest screenings have included Traverse City, AFI Docs, Hamptons, Galway, Montclair, and SF Jewish, among others.
Disney’s directorial debut sees her taking on two hot-button conservative issues that oddly aren’t typically linked: abortion and gun rights. Wondering how it is possible to hold both the belief that all life is sacred and that one has the right to bear lethal arms, the perhaps too tentative but thoughtful film focuses on an evangelical minister who has wrestled with what he sees as a contradiction. Reverend Rob Schenck, a long-time pro-life activist, was raised in a secular Jewish household before converting to Christianity, and was among the mass of evangelicals who switched political affiliations in the wake of Ronald Reagan, forming his Religious Right conservative base. Despite his leanings, Schenck has ruffled fellow conservatives and evangelicals by taking a stance for gun control after witnessing the too-frequent occurrences of mass shootings in recent years. Disney follows the reverend as he meets with other conservatives, questioning the morality of putting firearms before Biblical strictures against killing. Joining him as a secondary character is Lucy McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis, who features prominently in another documentary this year, 3 1/2 MINUTES, TEN BULLETS, underscoring the racial element that often haunts pro-gun rhetoric. In a smart move, recognizing the need to reach out to audiences beyond the already converted, Disney is offering free tickets to NRA members at select venues throughout the country.