Victoria Film Festival Review: ChristCORE

Documentary looks at Christian punk rock movement in Saskatchewan

Chad Paramore, lead singer of the emerging Christian Hardcore band Messengers, rehearses in a garage in Plano, Texas.

The first punk rock record I ever owned was a Dead Kennedys album called In God We Trust, Inc. On the cover is a picture of Jesus crucified on folded U.S. dollar bills. As a confused 14 year old, the message was clear: this music was about rebellion, anger and stripping away the facade of authority. It was anti-conformity, anti-society and anti-religion. I loved it, and I’ve been a fan of punk ever since.

When I heard about a new sub-genre of punk called ‘Christian hardcore’ or ‘Christcore’, I was cynical. So, too, was filmmaker Justin Ludwig. An ex-Catholic and self-styled atheist, Ludwig has spent his adult life in the Saskatchewan hardcore scene, often writing and singing about the rejection of the church. A few years ago, he decided to make a film about the growing Christian hardcore movement. He went in with an open mind, and the result is ChristCORE.

The film follows two bands at different stages of their careers. Messengers are a Texas band who are embarking on their first tour. On the other hand, Utah’s Sleeping Giant have legions of fans and headlining gigs booked across the country. Lead singer Tommy is revered at the band’s shows, sometimes performing faith healing on lucky fans.

Ludwig lets the band members do the talking (and screaming), and it’s hard not to like them. ChristCORE culminates with Sleeping Giant playing the Christian Cornerstone Music Festival. When Tommy ‘baptizes’ the mosh pit, you realize just how powerful the movement has become.

ChristCORE provides a glimpse into a subculture that many believe is a contradiction in terms. Is there a place in hardcore punk music for evangelical Christianity? It’s up to the viewer to decide. ChristCORE is the kind of documentary that sparks real discussion after the credits roll.  M

Mon., Feb. 4 • The Vic • 7pm

Review by Jason Lamb, host of The Punk Show (and The Morning Show) on The Zone@91.3 FM

www.facebook.com/punkshow

 

 

Just Posted

BEHIND BARS: Taking a trip down Mexico way

Cafe Mexico’s bar and general manager Jhol Spindler gives us a fresh take on mezcal and tequila

PERFECTLY POTABLE: Spanish blends make delightful pairing partners

Monday wine columnist Robert Moyes looks home and abroad for good vintages

Range of top-notch performers unveiled for 2019 Jazzfest lineup

Tickets go on sale this Friday for announced June shows at the Royal and McPherson theatres

TESS VAN STRAATEN: Marine magic at play in James Bay

Ogden Point and Fisherman’s Wharf are destinations for locals and visitors alike

Royal Theatre rate hikes on hold for now; user groups remain unhappy

Symphony, Pacific Opera, Dance Victoria call for public consultation on future use of Royal

BC Arts Council receives another funding boost in 2019 provincial budget

Greater Victoria arts organizations helped in latest round of operating assistance grants

Most Read