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States of Grace trailer

It's another missionary themed film from Richard Dutcher--the guy who did God's Army--but this one actually looks good.

See the trailer here.

(Via latterdaysoul.)

Beg to differ

"...but this one actually looks good."

I beg to differ! That is about the farthest in the opposite light that I think missionaries should be painted in! The work of God mixed with gang warfare? Hopefully only to be released in Utah...

And besides, what can this film be rated? Should a film about LDS members, missionaries, and the Gospel be published as a PG-13? I don't think so! Honestly, what is the Prophet going to say about this?

Gods Army 2

These are actually the scnerios and subjects we should be addressing. Remember the turmoil, the wars and the secret combinations in the Book Of Mormon. We need a movie like this NOW more than ever.

But for the public?

I understand the points presented, and I do agree with some of them. Just about all of the "Mormon movies" that have been made up to this point really only deal with our culture in a more flippant manner, but often times we will enjoy it because we are familiar with it.

However, the reason I am worried about this film is because of the image it will portray to the general public. Dutcher, for obvious and understandable reasons, aims his content more at the general public than small Mormon-life stereotypes. But I don't believe a film like this is something that portrays the LDS world in the proper light for a PR event.

Sure, inside of Mormondom, these topics could and should be dealt with. You are right, the world isn't black and white. But outside, I don't believe that this should be someone's (possibly) first impression of what Mormons are like, no matter what positive spin is placed on it.

As for "gasp! PG-13!", I say it only because the Gospel is involved, and don't think that a movie talking about the Gospel should have a limited audience. Good discussion all!

Love

Our religion is rated G in an R rated world. The problem is these are issues that are going on NOW!

The purpose of being MORMON is to participate in "Bringing to pass the immortality and Eternal Life of Man".

How are we supposed to "gather His sheep" if we only are looking for people in Sacrament meeting?

oh heck

are the gangsters in the movie going to be psedo-swearing?

"i'm gonna fill you with lead, you mother-flippin piece of shiz!"

In no sacrilegious terms. . .

Amen, Bob.

Reality check

A lot of people in the church don't like how Dutcher does his stuff because they want the church to be presented as problem free. Get real! As for Dutcher being a PR for the church, he's not but if he was he would be the best. My family has a lot more respect for the church now that they have seen Brigham City than before. (non lds family members that is)

You know what I think, I think that the Dutcher critics are just GA worshippers, know what I mean? God's Army shows a baptism and people freak out, say its a mockery to the Priesthood, and then Other Side of Heaven comes out, shows a baptism and the same people love it and say it does not mock the priesthood like God's Army. Not only are they dishonest in preteding it does not show any BAPTISMS but to me, it just shows that the quality of a movie is based more on a GA rather than substance. Don't get me wrong Other Side of Heaven was good too, but if you are going to condemn God's Army for showing missionaries with problems and oh no! Baptisms! Don't turn around and praise Other Side of Heaven just because it is based on the mission of a guy who is now a GA.

Letter to the Editor of the

Letter to the Editor of the Daily Universe:

"But, a Mormon produced film, however corny or cliché, will be clean and uplifting. I think art Mormons produce, as long as it is uplifting and focused on the gospel, is good and seeks the grand vision of Zion we are all striving for."

So, apparently, its okay for a movie to exist in a moral vacuum, as long as it is made by Mormons. I rather more agree with latterdaysoul.

While I dislike a goodly portion of Richard Dutcher's work (read: all of it), I do appreciate his attempts at tackling moral issues. While most other Mormon films are only interested in obnoxious caricatures and cheap gags, at least the (gasp! PG-13!) Brigham City was interested in people.

What the Mormon community desperately needs is moral art, not another at best amoral, and at worst immoral, movie about how wacky our culture is.

missions

I beg to differ! That is about the farthest in the opposite light that I think missionaries should be painted in! The work of God mixed with gang warfare?

I see where you're coming from, Josh, but I disagree. If it's done right--as this appears to be--it'll show heart on the part of missionaries in the face of difficulties. They'll be in real modern-day danger and yet will stand firm ... the way missionaries do everyday, all over the world.

On a mission you'll have to deal with a lot of messy stuff. It'd be nice if everything was black and white ... but it's not. You're forced to make tough decisions in complicated situations. It takes a lot of heart (and faith) to know both what to do, and then to do it.

Anyway, i'll resist the temptation to get stream-of-concious on you with the flood of emotions that course through me as I think about this ...

To me, this movie looks promising. Hopefully Dutcher portrays things accurately.

Certainly. I think we need

Certainly. I think we need to be proving to the world how relevant the gospel is in the real world. Heaven knows our "art" has done its best up to this point to make everyone believe the opposite.

what is the Prophet going to

what is the Prophet going to say about this?

nothing

this is a very silly discussion

Josh, you write:

However, the reason I am worried about this film is because of the image it will portray to the general public. Dutcher, for obvious and understandable reasons, aims his content more at the general public than small Mormon-life stereotypes. But I don't believe a film like this is something that portrays the LDS world in the proper light for a PR event.

But that is just crazy, pardon me. Mormons are portrayed all of the time, whether they like it or not. Someone would have to be living in a vacuum not to already have an impression of Mormonism -- and more often than not that impression is likely to be skewed. Would you prefer that someone get their first image of Mormon-life in films like "Orgazmo" (a film made by the South Park people, and portraying a missionary turned porn star)? For every stereotypical and saccharine portrayal of Mormonism in mormon-made films (that will never be seen outside the Mormon audience) there will be a very visible counterportrayal that is equally stereotypical in films like that or in Fletch or in Punch Drunk Love, etc. You don't avoid bad pr by making films that no one will watch.

Having said that, I think the whole discussion about what Richard Dutcher should be doing with his films is a bit silly (and certainly pretentious). He is not a PR agent for the Mormon church, and as far as I know doesn't get paid by the church to make his films. What Dutcher does, admirably, is make good films that happen to have interesting Mormon characters and Mormon settings in them. More than that, and something that should be celebrated by believers, is the fact his films portray the faith of these Mormon characters as credible, portray believers as reasonable and basically good people. By definition, a film that is made by Mormons for an exclusively Mormon audience will never be able to portray Mormon belief as credible to non-Mormons.

(By the way, I happen to be a non-Mormon who was given a good impression of Mormons from Richard Dutcher's previous films -- that I found in my local Albertson's video store -- in Florida!. I had heard about his new film and found this discussion when I was looking for information on the web. Reading some of the comments on this site, though, gives me a less favorable impression: so many of you seem so afraid of how you will be seen by outsiders and so narrowly dogmatic in your beliefs that your faith appears more shaky than it is portrayed in Mr. Dutcher's admirable films.)

well said

relevance to the real world ... that's exactly what I was thinking but couldn't find the right words to articulate. thanks.

bob

What film did you watch?

LDS folks pay attention to Bob's last paragraph

I am LDS and a huge fan of Mormon Cinema in general. Whether it takes our religion very seriously (the case with Richard Dutcher films) or whether it takes it all in a more tongue-in-cheek manner in an effort to make me laugh (as is the case with most of the LDS comedies). Was I a bit shocked to see some of the more spiritual aspects of our lives portrayed in God's Army and Brigham City...yes. Did I get over it quickly and then appreciate the fact that Richard Dutcher had gone that far...yes.

Bob (non-Mormon) I think says it all, which is the movies have given him a good impression of Mormon's, whereas some people in these on-line discussions, are making him concerned. Bob, I will tell you this, Mormon's have nothing to hide. Certainly the vast majoriy of us are good, normal people, who work hard, care about family and friends, try to participate in our communities, and do indeed have some spiritual experiences in our lives. Most people that have taken the two-years out of their lives to go off on their own time, at their own cost, in the prime of their life and serve a voluntary mission for the church, will tell you that it is indeed the best two years of their lives.

I hope the comedies keep coming and I hope that the serious ones keep coming. Either way, these movies are a growing alternative to a lot of the far more objectionable stuff put out by Hollywood. I rather my $9.50 go to helping Richard Dutcher share his vision of the church and its people with the world, than spending that same money on something that does nothing to further the work.