New Movie, "Confessions of A Teenage jesus Jerk"
Stumbled apon this.
Apologies if this has already been posted.
Here is a link to the trailer...
Here is one description of the plot...
Certain right wing scolds love to claim that modern life would be so much better if organized religion was allowed to exert a greater presence. “Confessions of A Teenage Jesus Jerk” shows in one very tragicomic story how such everyday religious incursion would be a curse.
Actor Eric Stoltz makes his directorial debut adapting San Francisco author Tony Dushane’s semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. Its setting is the Reagan era San Francisco Bay Area. High schooler Gabe, the Dushane stand-in, is a teenage Jehovah’s Witness. His father happens to be one of the local congregation’s Elders. However, thriving in his religious Fellowship proves less important to Gabe than his growing curiosity regarding masturbation and other sexual matters. Of particular importance is his unrequited crush on fellow teen Witness Jasmine.
It’s said a system’s strength can be found in how it handles breakdowns in its operations. In Gabe’s case, the religion he was steeped in proves particularly inadequate in explaining or de-mystifying the contradictions of sexual desire. One memorably ludicrous moment sees Gabe’s father counseling a husband greatly concerned about having committed sodomy with his wife. But things prove far less funny for Gabe when he becomes a scapegoat for female Witnesses’ embarrassment over experiencing awakened sexual desires.
Gabe’s story follows his gradual re-assessment of his treating his religious fervor as integral to his personal identity. Free-spirited cousin Karen shepherds his sexual awakening as well as his introduction to the then-burgeoning City punk scene. After Gabe gets temporarily expelled from the congregation, the expulsion may have been aimed at crushing his spirit and increase his craving to not make waves in the future. But getting exposed to the poetry of Kerouac shows the teen that spiritual awakening is not the private preserve of the Witnesses.
Seeing the word “Masturbation” in flashing neon above an Elder’s head doesn’t mean the film rejects the religious urge. Religion is just one way of making the universe understandable to people. But Stoltz’ film has little love for religious desire being twisted into a means of controlling others’ behavior.
Worth seeing, for sure.