I’ve just worked my way through the available videos in Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studio project on YouTube and I think they’re really worth your time. Like his earlier short films all the videos are full of ideas and wonderful / haunting images, and their incomplete concept feel is part of the charm. Unlike his feature films they don’t outstay their welcome.
Rakka is clearly the stand out but every short does it’s own peculiar thing and it’s an hour well spent that’ll leave you looking forward to the release of the next video, Zygote, on 12 July.
So the problems with God’s Not Dead are the same as the problems with the current popular (YouTube I guess) discourse around religion; it’s not really got anything to do with the topic at hand and a lot of work goes into painting the other side, because it always has to be oppositional, as something they are not.
Faith is something that you either have or don’t. You can come into it or fall out of it because life is like that and faith is surely something that should be a challenge (hence it’s called ‘faith’ and not ‘certainty’). Trying to argue the point through logic and misappropriated quotes is a nonsense. It’s almost as misguided as the idea that all atheists actually want to believe, the mirror of the patronising ‘if only these religious people would just be smarter’ point of view.
People seem to be mad about this film but it’s not provocative enough for that, besides I’m watching The Newsroom (2012 – 2014) so, well, we all like to be on the choir that’s being preached to. So there’s that.