"We're going to prove, once and for all, that god is dead."
When you say the title of this movie out loud it sounds more like you’re asking a question. “God’s not dead too? Is he, really, as well? Ah that’s a shame.” I can answer that question and say yes, he is indeed dead. Why you may ask? Simple; God saw this film and promptly killed himself. That is what happened. Can’t say I blame him.
Okay let’s get this over with. A teacher (played by, who cares?) answers a student’s question relating to the teachings of Jesus in their history class. But she soon finds herself bombarded with accusations that she was trying to preach a Christian message in a public school (which she sort of was but at the same time could easily disprove anyway) and faces a court trial that could end her career.
A quick Google search defines propaganda as “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view”. ‘God’s Not Dead 2’ is a propaganda film, plain and simple. It’s one of the most offensive, unflattering and deluded propaganda films I’ve ever seen. At least with the Nazi propaganda movies (whose themes are obviously not endorsed by this blog, or anyone in a civilised society) had impressive editing techniques, but this is on another level entirely.
I’m not a religious person but if I was I feel as if I’d be outraged by this movie, especially if I was a Christian. It’s not about spreading messages of peace and forgiveness, it doesn’t exist to show anyone the benefits of religion. It exists to reinforce the prejudices and bigotries held by its audience. What’s even more insulting is the fact that it also tries to convince both its audience and itself that they are the ones being persecuted, that they are living in a society that rejects them. I think the fact that the first movie made a profit of $60 million proves that isn’t true.
But suppose we put ethics aside for a moment, because it would be easy to tear this film apart from that standpoint, like pointing out how every non-Christian character is villainised, how ridiculously unbalanced it is (remembering that it’s a court movie, a genre famous for promoting both sides of the argument) or how moronically unbalanced it is. But for now let’s just look at how solid the plot is. So the teacher is sent to court and immediately you have to wonder how difficult it would have been to argue that what she said in class could not be construed as preaching. If I was a lawyer I would state that she was simply offering the viewpoint of a certain perspective and using it to contrast the teachings of other historical figures.
That doesn’t happen. What happens is a lengthy court case in which the defence tries to prove that God exists. Now I admit I am in fact not a lawyer, but that is a terrible platform from which to build your case. My client says to me “We’ll win the case by proving all science wrong” and my response is “No, in fact while we’re in court I’m the only person that’s allowed to speak. Okay?” Even before that you would think a good justice system would ask for the accused’s side of the story before taking it to court during which it would become blatantly obvious that she was answering a question. Their defence case is actually ridiculously weak (siting its only evidence as the Bible) but it’s okay because she’s found not guilty when everyone prays for it. That is literal Deus Ex Machina right there.
So after establishing that the plot defies all rules of logic we can move onto other factors like directing, acting cinematography. None of them exist. That concludes my review of the technical aspects of ‘God’s Not Dead 2’. Going back to ethics this film is also pure fearmongering, at one point a pastor states that they are “at war” with atheists. The atheists in question all spend the movie curling their evil moustaches and plotting to take down Christianity. Don’t worry ‘God’s Not Dead 2’ you’re doing a fine job of that yourself.
But the worst thing by a mile is just the hypocrisy of it all. Say, theoretically, you made a slight alteration to this film’s synopsis so instead of preaching Christian ideals the teacher was preaching Jewish or Muslim teachings to her class. The people who support this movie would be the first in line to have a problem with that.
Pure propaganda, the only thing that’s more insulting is its quality.