Academy Award nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Jesus Camp, directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (directors of the critically acclaimed The Boys of Baraka), follows Levi, Rachael, and Tory, to Pastor Becky Fischer's "Kids On Fire" summer camp in Devil's Lake North Dakota where kids as young as six are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in "God's army." The film follows these children at camp as they hone their "prophetic gifts" and are schooled in how to "take back America for Christ." Jesus Camp is a first-ever look into an intense training ground that recruits born-again Christian children to become an active part of America's political future.
"The feverish spectacle of a summer camp for evangelical Christian kids is the focus of Jesus Camp, a fascinating if sometimes alarming documentary. (Shortly after its release, the movie gained a new notoriety when Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals, who appears near the end of the film, resigned his post amid a male prostitute's allegations of drug use and sexual misconduct.) For most of the film, we follow a charismatic teacher, Becky Fischer, as she trains young soldiers in "God's Army" at a camp in North Dakota. Some of the kids emerge as likable and bright, and eager to continue their work as pint-sized preachers; elsewhere, the visions of children speaking in tongues and falling to the floor in ecstasy are more troubling. Even more arresting is the vision of a generation of children home-schooled to believe that the Bible is science, or Fischer's certainty that America's flawed system of democracy will someday be replaced by a theocracy. (In one scene, a cardboard cut-out of George W. Bush is presented to the children, who react by laying their hands on the figure as though in a religious procession.) Power broker Haggard is the creepiest person in the film, an insincere smooth-talker whose advice to one of the young would-be camp-goers comes across as entirely cynical. Time will tell whether the film's Christian soldiers will be marching onward."
— Robert Horton
"An Extraordinary, Deeply Disturbing Look at American Evangelicalism."
— Steve Koss
— Justin M. Porter
"This film gave me nightmares."
— Jose Hayes
"Hands down the scariest movie I have seen in years and will without question be taking it's rightful place alongside the other horror films in my collection ..."
— J. Thomas