America is a funny place these days. And by funny, I mean disappointing. While conservatives continue to fret about the degradation of American values in the economy and our way of life - citing liberty and freedom - they continue to restrict the freedom of their fellow citizens. Homosexuals are just the latest minority to be discriminated against in this country, and whether you approve or disapprove of the gay lifestyle, don't for one second think that denying them certain rights that straight people are allowed is anything but discrimination.
As controversial as the homosexual issue has been for years, it came to a head with California's passage of Proposition 8, which directly discriminates against gay American citizens, depriving them of a variety of rights, including marriage. As disturbing and shocking as its passage was, what was just as disconcerting is who was behind the nefarious proposition: the Mormon Church. In 8: The Mormon Proposition, documentary filmmakers Reed Cowan and Steven Greenstreet examine how the Mormon Church influenced the Californian election with undercover funding and volunteer support.
There's nothing incredibly brilliant about the way 8: The Mormon Proposition is presented, but it really doesn't matter: Cowan and Greenstreet paint an extremely unflattering picture of the Mormon Church and its methods to achieve what they felt was right - which, simply, is wrong.
Clearly, I'm not opinionated on the subject at all. But even with my unwavering neutrality, 8: The Mormon Proposition is an insightful documentary that shows just how dangerous bigoted views can be.
The movie isn't without its flaws. It seems to run out of material short of the end credits and the directors take the film away from its central focus; the material shown near the end is interesting, but would have been more impactful had it been used in tangent subjects earlier on. Cowan and Greenstreet don't close with their most powerful thesis, having already delivered it a half hour earlier.
Still, 8: The Mormon Proposition is a compelling study of a religious institution overstepping its bounds, and more importantly the reality of how elections can be swayed by the proper amount of funds and campaigning.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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