MISSISSIPPI QUEEN

2 Stars
Year Released: 2012
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 63 minutes
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With this production, Paige Williams joins a growing line of filmmakers using nonfiction filmmaking as a means of venting personal problems. For Williams, the difficulties are based in her thorny relationship with her Mississippi-based parents: Williams is a lesbian and her devoutly Southern Baptist parents founded a so-called “ex-gay ministry” after she left home.

In terms of theological perspicacity, the filmmaker’s parents are conspicuously lacking – Williams’ father, when reminded that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, abruptly changes the subject – but, at the same time, no depth is provided on how her parents’ ministry operates. Williams attempts to draw her parents into airing their differences, but this only results in embarrassing exchanges between irritated adults who seem to be in perpetual parallel conversations. Williams also drags in her wife, who expresses constant annoyance about the barely-concealed contempt she feels from the filmmaker’s parents.

Needless to say, this gets tiresome quickly. Mercifully, Williams is able to turn the camera away from her domestic troubles, and the film works very effectively when it visits with men and women who went through the ex-gay ministry movement in an attempt to jettison their homosexuality. These individuals detail their efforts with great sincerity and enthusiasm, but they eventually acknowledge that the conversion endeavors left them closer to celibate asexuality rather than full-fledged heterosexuality.

If Williams had paid more attention to these people, there might have been a genuinely fascinating film. Alas, the home movie elements overwhelm and derail the production’s value.



Posted on August 18, 2012 in Reviews by
Buffer


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