American Heretics - Australian Film Review

3:40 PM  to 5:35 PM  on Jul 13, 2019



This powerful film, while made in USA & focussing on themes specific to Oklahoma which is one of the most fundamentalist states in the Union, has universal application to progressive Christians everywhere. It will have its Australian premiere at the Common Dreams conference on 13 July 2019. The film has been nominated for an award at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival, the leading film festival in the USA.

Rev Dr Robin Meyers, who features prominently in the film, will attend the Common Dreams Conference to introduce it & to interact with the audience.

Film Synopsis

At what other point in our history has the line between church and state become so tangled and polarizing?

We’ve entered a time where the power of negative partisanship has sorted us along lines of race and religion. And what that means, according to Dr. Robert Jones, head of the Public Religion Research Institute “is that the two parties have exploited race and religion, two of the most visceral things you can think of in terms of the human experience, and they’ve locked them in partisan identities.”

American Heretics: The Politics of the Gospel takes audiences into the buckle of Bible belt where a group of defiant ministers, congregations, and community leaders are challenging deeply rooted fundamentalist Christian doctrine in favour of a Gospel of Inclusion. Labelled as “heretics” for their beliefs and actions, they refuse to wield their faith as a sword sharpened by literal interpretations of the Bible. Especially those fundamentalist Christian interpretations that continue to justify nationalism and hack away at landmark civil rights protections for women, minorities, immigrants, and the LGBTQ communities.

This poignant story challenges what we think we know about the Christian heartland by offering a rare personal glimpse into the contentious and often misunderstood history of religion, race, and politics in America. These Heretics are still interested in saving you from hell, but’s the earthly one, where poverty, discrimination and nationalism oppresses “…those who are the least among us.”

The film features Robin Meyers & Brandon Scott who are well known to Australian & New Zealand progressives through their speaking tours here. It also features Bishop Charlton Pearson, Rev Lori Walke, Rev Dr Marlin Lavanhar, Rep Colin Walke, Nehemiah D Frank, & Dr Robert Jones.

Directed and Produced by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Jeanine and Catherine Butler (www.butlerfilms.tv). Edited by award-winning editor Jamie Lee Godfrey (National Geographic, Newseum); and lensed by Peter Hutchens (Showtime’s “The Trade,” and Oprah Winfrey’s “Belief” series).

See more on the American Heretics website.


More Performances at Common Dreams