I just saw this very touching Danish movie, 'World's Apart', about a girl leaving Jehova's Witness.
As we are well aware... the Jehova Witness is a crazy sect with NO similarity whatsoever to the one and only true church of God... However, if you give this brilliant movie a chance, you may discover and identify with more than one similarity in Sara's life experience. Based on a true story (subtitled in English):
I know Americans in general are not so used to foreign movies with subtitles, but I would love to hear any comments if anyone manages to see it. I found the plot, characters and acting very realistic and truthful and I honestly think many LAMers would enjoy watching it as well.
PS: The picture quality is pretty good for being youtube.
I love (certain) genres and productions of movies the world over. Nowadays I am skeptical of movies claiming to portray a religion, or “expose” some religion. Producers and directors of such films tend to be hypercritical, even atheist, which colors their production with an inexcusable bias. they also fail to show the short-coming of their preferred alternative to religion, portraying it as an all-wise, science-embracing, objective path, when it is just as much a matter of subjectivity and emotion as it is for people of religions.
Nonetheless, I often enjoy such movies. “Ticket to Heaven” was an expose on the Moonies. It made the Moonies look pretty bad. But looking between the lines, and recalling my association with Moonies, attending their workshops and meetings and reading their books, I have to say the movie contained elements that were fairly true to the spirit and theology of the group, and I could relate to some of the characters who showed up in the movie. Even where the characterization was over-ripe (almost everywhere), I could recognize the characters.
I’ve had JW friends, too, and have seen a number of disturbing testimonies by exJWs. So this Danish anti-JW movie had the same effect on me. I could see, again, a couple of over-ripe sections, and the inevitable unjust and undeveloped criticism. But I also saw familiar JW types. I recognized the books on the family’s bookcase! I recognized special terms, like “pioneer”. I understand the problem and pain of “shunning”.
All in all, I enjoyed the movie very much. The quality of the film, the sound, the story-line, the dialogue, and the acting were all high calibre. One disturbing part was when an atheist manipulated a naïve, faithful Jehovah’s Witness girl, even to the extent of pretending to begin to believe in JWism, so he could have sex with her. Another was the girl’s final goodbye to theism. Not just JW theism, which would be understandable, but all theism, about which she knew next to nothing. She obviously had not thought much about the issue. There are many types of religion and “theisms” besides JWism. Mormons have the same problem; when they leave their religion, they usually don’t know enough about other religions and other theologies to make an informed choice; they are blind to the possibilities. And they have not personally experienced other religions, so it’s like they are blind in one eye and can’t see out the other.
JWism is doctrinally very different from Mormonism. There are also similarities. These include falsification of history, changing doctrines while denying the changes took place, psychological manipulation of members (in ethically dubious ways), the difficulty of leaving, and the baggage one continues to bear after leaving. I've visited a couple of ex-JW sites. Some ex-JWs have more empathy for the exmormon experience than do mormons, and some exmormons understand the dilemmas facing ex-JWs better than JWs do.
There is a significant ex-JW presence on the internet. The number of exJW sites is, predictably, growing..
more sites available through: http://ex-jw.com/web-directory
When we join an organization, it's important to read the fine print. Unfortunately, not everyone puts the fine print on the sign-up page. There is a lot about mormonism and JWism that you just won't find out until you have already put your boot in the deep, dark muck. "Caveat socius." As joiners, we need to make ourselves aware of the details of a group before we give our allegiance to it.