fit for the kingdom: documentary films about mormons

This series is designed to illustrate and accomplish what we take to be the primary aims and obligations of the documentary film. These are as follows:

  • To portray and appreciate ordinary people in their ordinary circumstances, to the end that we do not mistake fantasy for reality, celebrity for substance, escapism for anxious engagement; to affirm that in enduring to the end and embracing the everyday we will find the key to and see the patterns of our improvement and exaltation.
  • To lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees, to insure that the seats and centres of power provide means through which the silent can speak and the obscure be acknowledged; to create through such exchanges the compassion and the conscience and the humility that counter pride and leaven privilege, that the teacher may learn and the learner may teach, that equality and mutual edification be our aim and our ultimate accomplishment.
  • Though our concentration on everyday lives will sometimes seem only to prove that man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards, though our best attempts to succour or share will often founder or even fail, documentary demonstrates that tribulation is a blessed lot, because it is only in passing through it that we find transcendence.

If these aims seem lofty and even abstract, then this series will embody and illustrate them in the most direct, accessible way. Our broadcast culture is inclined to celebrate counterfeit substance and compromised virtue. For our part, we wish to resist exaggeration in what we say and avoid compulsory means in the way we say it. We wish to look for quiet, exemplary latter-day-saintly lives, and to document them in the most direct and unadorned fashion that we can.

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