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Armies of God

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One of the first Little Rock Film Festival's most startling films was “Jonestown,” the tragic story of the notorious cult. This year, audiences might be likewise riveted by another depiction of homegrown religious fundamentalists run amok. “Silhouette City” examines the rise of religious militarism in the United States, including the notorious CSA militia whose camp in North Arkansas was broken up by a federal raid.

Trotting out a series of clips from evangelical ministries may seem tiresome to anyone who has ever set foot into a mega-church, but slowly, the various footage accrues a dreadful weight. Just as the church services on display employ music and lights to grease the wheels on their emotional message, the film soundtracks its images with a haunting industrial score that induces both claustrophobia and near-panic.

The film, written by Little Rock native Michael Wilson, shows at 5 p.m. at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. The festival organizers have put together an enticing panel to supplement the film, “Apocalyptic Christian Nationalism: From the Margins to the Mainstream.” A calm discussion of the hysteria on display will go a long way toward quelling alarmism and digesting the message of this powerful film.  Participants include Kerry Noble, a CSA leader who served a prison stretch.

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