K. Ryan Jones’ film Fall from Grace about Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church is currently airing on Showtime and will be through the holiday season.
The AP writes: “Pastor Fred Phelps and his Topeka, Kan., congregation — most of them members of his immediate family — think any publicity is good publicity. They cooperated fully with Jones, who allows them plenty of time to explain their ideology. Some viewers might think they get just enough rope to hang themselves…Jones told The Associated Press that he worried it might be irresponsible to give Phelps yet another forum. But he believes the documentary will do more good than harm. ‘This is not a problem that’s going to go away simply by ignoring it,’ Jones said. ‘The goal of the film is to educate people about this group — the way they think, the way that they act and why they do these things, so we can be better equipped to handle it.’ Jones gathered footage for ‘Fall from Grace’ between October 2005 and October 2006, spending time with church members and interviewing those affected by their protests, including Topeka’s mayor and police chief and the widow of a young soldier. It’s not a polished documentary. (Jones had scant financial resources — he estimates his budget at $10,000 — and he relies too heavily on footage of Westboro members protesting and montages of their picket signs.) But the film accomplishes Jones’ goal of explaining the origins of Phelps’ vitriol toward fallen soldiers.”
Air dates are available on Showtime’s website.
Fall from Grace [official site]