5.01.2005

In God's Name

Everyone wants to belong but sometimes the means are crazy and absurd; this is the theme of Sneaky Little Sister’s comedy, “In God’s Name”. Director, writer, and editor Kia Simon explores the outrageous leaders of cults and the psychological appeal to some humans. The documentary-style film gives three radical examples of cult leaders who believe God speaks to them and can save humanity from the Apocalypse. Brother Meade is your typical compound leader, Holy John resembles a hippy beach comber, and Chen Hon-Ming is a foreigner in Texas who thinks God speaks to him through his ring.

Simon’s light-hearted and satirical approach is underdeveloped and is reminiscent of a senior undergraduate final film project. The storyline is flat, and only shows the perspective of the cult leader and not of the followers – only a potential follower. The ending has poor delivery and hackneyed symbolism as she walks against the crowd. In fact, it isn’t even apparent through the film that she is thinking about joining a cult.

All swords aside, this film isn’t hopeless. The music is in sync with the PBS style and is cheesy, reinforcing this film as a farce. If I were the director, I’d reevaluate my goal for the film find another approach.

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