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The Independent Critic

Nathan Lang
82 Mins.

 "God in the Box" Review 
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What does God mean to you? What does God look like?

These questions are at the center of God in the Box, an intriguing 82-minute feature documentary receiving its world premiere at the 2011 Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis, Indiana.

God in the Box chronicles an individual's journey to try and understand what God looks like and why - if God exists at all.

A small group of friends decided to explore these fundamental issues and, aided by a box they set up on street corners across America, they began to explore the great diversity of thoughts about God, the absence of God, the appearance of God, the existence of God and on and on. The "box," a rather curious creation that resembles both small studio and confessional and seemingly functions as both, invites intimacy and honesty for all who enter yet does so without the need to censor, control, conquer, divide or decide the difference between right and wrong.

God in the Box is most certainly not just a film about Christianity, because those who enter the box tho share their thoughts include militant atheists, Hindus, New Agers and much more. What's surprising and thought-provoking is how seriously many take this rather unique opportunity, a few moments to write, record and speak from one's own truth about God.

The filmmakers ended up with footage of 163 Americans from eight different cities and towns, and what they have to say profoundly impacts not just themselves but even the filmmakers who didn't seemingly quite know what to expect when this project first began.

The filmmakers weave into the fabric of these stories feedback and perspectives from scholars, theologians, mythologists and even an archaeologist - all who have joined the search for the origins of how we see God, yet doing so not just theologically but historically and culturally.

It's refreshing to view a documentary that doesn't feel manipulated or histrionic in its presentation - It's clear that Nathan Lang and his production crew aren't aspiring here to any certain reaction but, instead, are simply allowing the project to unfold. It does so in ways both simple and sublime. The final conclusion might be "Can we take all these ways that we know God and find a way to peacefully co-exist?"

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic   
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