MOVIES ABOUT JWs

(Investigator 185, 2019 March)


The 20th century saw very few films produced about Jehovah's Witnesses other than propaganda documentaries made by the Watchtower Society.

Now in the 21st century the JW attendance figures plus ex-JWs together number tens of millions. This gives conflicts peculiar to the sect wider public interest and worth exploring by means of movies:

Worlds Apart (2008)
This Danish movie was reviewed in Investigator #138 as a realistic, true-to-life presentation of a JW family and congregation in which the 17-year-old daughter leaves the sect.

Truth Be Told (2012)
A documentary featuring informal interviews with seven ex JWs, including martial arts fighter and actor Nathan Quarry, about growing up in the sect. Topics include proselytizing, shunning, and missing out on higher education. The interviews are supplemented with dramatic reenactments. We learn of an isolationist, totalitarian sect beset with false prophecies, intimidation and sexual abuse.

Worldly Girl (2016) 
An Italian coming-of-age movie dealing with youthful rebellion against church control. Giulia is talented in mathematics but destined by her church not to follow through on this, instead work in her father's factory besides going door-knocking to promote the faith. Encouragement by her teacher toward higher education, and romance with a former drug dealer, pull her in other directions.

Apostasy  (2017)
A middle-aged single parent Ivanna, a staunch British JW, has two teenage daughters. Luisa, the older one, develops doubts, misses meetings to attend college, gets pregnant to an unbeliever, and has to be shunned for immorality. The younger daughter, Alex, dutifully does everything her church requires, is courted by an elder, but feels deficient for having received a blood transfusion at birth for anemia which she still suffers from. It's a setting for intense psychological drama.

The Children Act (2017)
A high court female judge rules that a 17-year-old boy refusing a blood transfusion must receive it. He thereafter tries to enmesh himself in her life.
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