Matthew Lickona noon, July 29
Filmmaker Kevin Miller sets out to survey the Christian (and non-Christian) world on the question of who, if anyone, is going to hell, and why a loving God would ever allow creatures made in His image and likeness to suffer such a fate. The chief debate is between those who believe that some people will suffer eternal, conscious torment after death and those who believe that, sooner or later, everyone makes it to heaven. Beginning with the hardcore "they're gonna burn" members of Westboro Baptist as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Miller covers an impressive amount of ground — scriptural, historical, theological, and otherwise — and if he has a hard time getting away from all the talking heads, well, some of those heads are pretty engaging. (Wisely, he begins with atheist storymeister Robert McKee, who provides the unbeliever with a reason to play along: the notion of life as narrative, and what hell means to the story.) Unfortunately, Miller, who clearly favors the notion of universal salvation, tips his hand a little too often, as if he lacks trust in both the viewer and his own material. Still, it's a nuanced look into the varied world of Christian belief (and believers). 2012.