Fight Church

This action-packed USA documentary was submitted to the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival. Coyly co-directed by Academy Award Winning Director Daniel Junge ("Saving Face") and Bryan Storkel ("Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians"), we are supposed to believe that they don't have an axe to grind, but to me, their bias is readily evident.

Tattooed tough guys straight from the Mixed Martial Arts cage matches were portrayed as staunch born-again, main-stream Christians. We listen to the ways in which several churches' fight clubs rationalize their faith and their viewpoints and support the idea of God-fearing men beating the holy crap out of each other.

We see preachers, MMA fighters, priests, legislators and congregations debate the issue. Some are fiercely in favor of church-sponsored MMA bouts, some are equally opposed. The spouses try to show an upbeat supportive attitude, but we have to watch children tearfully lose bloody battles for Jesus' sake and one preacher have his shoulder dislocated by another. Aarghhh! One fellow changed his mind during the course of the filming.

This might appeal to faith-based audiences or to people who love MMA bouts, but I was repelled from the very beginning, so there is MY bias! The preachers seemed sincere enough but their rationale was pretty strained. At this point, professional MMA cage fighting is legal in 49 states; New York is the hold out. I'm just glad attendance isn't mandatory!