New to DVD this week: MACHINE GUN PREACHER
Kevin Evans and Zac Simpson’s look at an unlikely humanitarian made its debut at the Gasparilla International Film Festival in 2014.
Already the subject of a poorly-reviewed Hollywood action film by the same name, Evans and Simpson’s documentary profiles Sam Childers, a biker and former drug dealer who, after finding God, has dedicated his life to helping the orphans of South Sudan. A controversial figure, he has raised funds to build a compound to house, educate, and feed the charges he rescues, while protecting them with armed guards. Though produced for the NGO Angels of East Africa, the film admirably tries to avoid descending into outright hagiography, detailing the strain Childers’ self-appointed mission has placed on his family relationships and their finances. At the same time, the film’s general praise of his missionary work overwhelms any extended consideration of the serious contradictions its subject poses as a self-professed man of God gleefully toting guns, and is altogether too scattershot in its approach to create a cohesive portrait.