Film of the week: Documentary “GOD WILLING” by Evangeline Griego
Evangeline Griego‘s documentary God Willing will air on public television stations nationwide beginning on April 2, 2011. Check local listings or visit the film’s website for broadcast dates and times.
God Willing begins with a letter from the filmmaker’s nephew: “Dear Family – I’ve gone off with the missionaries, the bearded ones remember? To serve the Lord. Don’t fill out a missing person’s report. The Lord comes first – Daniel.”
God Willing is the wrenching story of families who have lost their sons and daughters to the Jim Roberts Group, a nomadic Christian cult also known as the Garbage Eaters, The Church and The Brethren. Told through the journey of filmmaker Evangeline Griego‘s own family, as well as Sandi and Marsha, two moms whose daughters also joined the cult, the film chronicles the struggles of families whose children turn away from them to become “Brothers” and “Sisters” in the group – renouncing their past lives and the world often without ever turning back.
Founded in 1971 by the mysterious messianic figure Jim Roberts, the group has survived for decades as a separatist society that preaches a strict path to salvation, proselytizes for new members, adheres to strict ascetic values, subsists on discarded food and refuse, and shuttles its members from town to town, often on the run from concerned parents and family members who try to see or communicate with their children.
God Willing offers a rare inside look at the group through interviews with both family members and former members of The Church. The film shows how Roberts’ message appeals to the sincere spiritual yearnings of many young people, and the struggle that some converts face with fellow members and themselves when they find little more comfort in the fold than in their previous lives. It also grippingly presents the anguish of parents and other loved ones who grapple with the urge to pursue and rescue their children, and the psychological, emotional and tactical impediments that so often get in the way of reconciliation. Featuring extensive surveillance footage of the group and rare, candid on-camera encounters with its members, God Willing is a powerful examination of families torn asunder, belief systems at war, and the perilous balance of futility and hope.
Entry filed under: FILM OF THE WEEK. Tags: documental latino, documental latinoamericano, documentales latinoamericanos, documentales latinos, Evangeline Griego, God Willing, Jim Roberts, Latin American Documentary, latinamerican documentaries, Latino Americano, latino documentary, The Church and The Brethren, the Garbage Eaters.