Friday, July 17, 2020


Streaming this weekend...

Blessed ChildThis documentary was directed by its principal subject, Cara Jones, who was born into and grew up within the Unification Church, also known as the “Moonies” after their late leader Sun Myung Moon. Jones is no longer in the flock, but still clearly adores her parents, who remain leading figures in the American church. The film details her efforts to renounce the homophobic and profit-minded sect—her gay younger brother, who worked with her on the film, also left the church—while retaining a loving relationship with her folks.

Her sweet mother suffers terrible guilt about leaving her daughter, as an infant, to be raised by a sort of church nanny while she did mission work, although this woman, who Jones also visits, was kindly. The Princeton-educated Dad's handsome, brahmin-ish-looking face likewise strains with guilt when Jones gently questions him about the church's ideology that condemns his son. It's bitterly sad, but not depressing to watch, because it's clear that love came first in this family. Yet the damage wrought by the church in the lives of these people was very real.

Of course, as one of the talking heads points out, there's nothing in this movie that couldn't be equally true of, and certainly no worse than, a family dynamic in, say, the Catholic Church, or any major organized religion. The peek inside this particular church is intriguing, but the family portrait is what makes Blessed Child affecting.

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