Thursday, October 18, 2007

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

I took an hour this afternoon to watch this documentary entitled Searching for the Wrong Eyed Jesus. A documentary about following the musician Jim White and the culture of the south. Focusing largely on the oddities of faith and following the goodness or the blood of Christ. If you have seen the movie Saved (Mandy Moore, Maculey Culkin) it sets up an interesting fictional portrayal about the Evangelical Right. This documentary has no fictional portrayals but stories of the inhabitants of a deep south. There are moments where you have to question to yourself if this can actually be real? There seems only two ways of living, well maybe three, either you go to church or you live in evil. Or you accept Jesus in your heart and then on sundays you go back to the Pentecostal based church and repent for your deeds. The religion seems to be religion, follow the rules, accept Jesus, live your life.

The music in the film is fabulous. The premise was surrounded by the fact the film makers received a Christmas gift of Jim White's Mysterious Tale of how I Shouter Wrong Eyed Jesus! The music is deep south, found on the swamps, and nothing to do with metal. On a deeper look there is the music from 16 Horsepower and the Handsome Family. The movie is interwoven with the music of the south, deep dark , mysterious, and oddly creepy.

I really loved this film because it is awkward and tough to swallow. There is a tough understanding of those who live in the small towns with nothing but tradition, a church, a jail, and an auto shop. If you are lucky a McDonald's or a KFC. Life seems to be small and simple and narrated by Jim White's view of the south. Something that he grew to love and find beauty in. There are moments where you wouldn't think that someone could live in these spaces but there they are in their lives and their understandings of how they got there and why they stayed. Sometimes shocking and sometimes you just have to laugh. Like when the old man shares a story of how when he was a young lad the family received a Sears Roebuck catalogue, inside all they saw was perfection, what they saw were people without fingers, sores, and brokenness. Within hours the catalogue was filled with no longer perfection but stories of disillusionment, chaos, love, incest, and relationships.

Overall the movie is worth seeing. The colors are dark, thought the shots and movements of the musicians are worth enduring the crazy south interpretation of faith and being saved. Beautiful snapshot of something that is not a universal idea but still someones way of life.

No comments: