Bruce Bennett Short Bio

Bruce Bennett

Bruce Bennett has been the primary contributor to Mad About Movies since it began in 2003. He is an award winning film and theater critic who, since 2000, has been writing a weekly column in The Spectrum daily newspaper in southern Utah as well as serving as a contributing editor of “The Independent,” a monthly entertainment magazine. He is also the co-host of “Film Fanatics” a movie review show which earned a Telly in 2009. Bruce is also a featured contributor at:

His motto: "I see bad movies so you don't have to."

8: The Mormon Proposition

Well intentioned but emotionally charged propaganda

There are important issues involving the debate over same-sex marriage, unfortunately those issues get buried in this well intentioned but emotionally charged, propaganda styled documentary. A big part of the film is spent criticizing the LDS church’s successful campaign to support passage of Prop. 8 which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Instead of arguing the merits of their case, the understandably passionate filmmakers use words like conspiracy to vilify the Church’s powerful but perfectly legal influence (The Church is an easy target and they don’t fight back) and come away looking like sore losers simply because the anti “8” coalition, which used many of the same methods, was not as successful. (Though a 4% electorate difference is hardly a landslide).

Much of the film also uses amateur methods none more ridiculous than the awkward tear stained testimony of a former church member who implies clandestine shock therapy sessions conducted at BYU using, instead of factual evidence of any kind, black and white film excerpts from what appear to be 1950’s-era science fiction films. Any effort to increase understanding, hard to determine here with so much vitriol, is further undermined by using quotes out of context and specious arguments regarding pressure of LDS members to conform and never once asking the question: why are so many against same-sex marriage? This would seem a reasonable question considering that Mormons represent less than 5% of the pro “8” voters and that 38 other states have passed similar propositions or laws. It is clear that the LDS church, like many other religions, struggles with those who profess homosexuality–a topic worthy of sensible discussion. But this film, which does an injustice to the documentary genre, is too busy evoking intolerance (ironically) and fear mongering to provoke any rational analysis of the facts.

Grade: D
Not-Rated but probably PG-13 for subject matter

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