For those of you who are interested in religious freedom issues, check out Heart of the Beholder
This is a soon-to-be-filmed movie based on a true story of some events that surrounded the release of The Last Temptation of Christ. It was refused by the major studios because of its unflattering portrayal of the zealots who protested the release of that film, and of various folks who were involved in the events. Check out the flash trailer for details.
Darlene Lieblich, the producer, called me today to thank me for my contribution. She's put up the equity in her home and a lot of savings to get this done. This is a labor of love for the people involved.
They tried setting up a pre-order system to raise funds, but word got out to the Xian Right, and they abused the system by having people place orders then either cancel, or dispute the charges with their CC company, resulting in all kinds of paperwork and expenses. As a new fundraising system, Beholder Productions has an investment/loan model -- anyone can chip in towards the budget, and if the film makes enough of a profit, you'll get your money back, with interest.
I think it's a story worth telling, especially what with Mel Gibson's obscene proselytic propaganda vehicle out there now.
I hope some of you will think about chipping in at least a small amount -- anything helps. The tone of conversation about religion these days is disturbing. The Right pushes the idea that there's a big division between Christianity (upon which, they claim, American values are based) and everybody else. The reality is that American values have always been about pluralistic tolerance; many of the Signers were non-Christian, and strongly opposed intrusion of religion into government. The real conflict is between American values and reactionary zealotry. We can't make the zealots shut up ("I disapprove of what you say, sir, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." -- Voltaire), but we definitely need more, and louder, voices in the public square exposing them for what they are.Correction:
Darlene didn't completely leave Fox, just switched roles. I evidently misread something in one of the Newsletters. In any case, you'd think that Fox Searchlight, or some similar indy-friendly production house, might've been willing to back the film, but the Religious Right evidently scares the movie industry.