Exodus Sizzle Reel - HD





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Published on Jul 4, 2016

Exodus is a forthcoming documentary about African-Americans leaving God and the church. We are crowdfunding production and post. Donations can be made at PayPal.me/Exodoc. Potential underwriters and licensees should contact the producers. This version censored strong language that may offend some viewers.

Exodus is a feature-length documentary about the growing number of African-Americans leaving religion. Award-winning journalist David Person takes an in-depth look at this trend by examining the lives of Black atheists and illuminating interviews with pastors and theologians, commenting on the implications for the church and community. Our subjects tell their stories of coming out atheist, including the prejudice and social problems they face as part of the most religious demographic in America.

Exodus will be a powerful film that needs to be seen by a mass audience to create better understanding of non-religious African-Americans. Making a broadcast quality documentary for a mass audience is a large undertaking. We know this subject is important and deserves an in-depth journalistic treatment.
The Impact
Exodus is being produced to reach the mass audience of television viewers, many of whom have never had a conversation with an African-American atheist. Wide distribution of Exodus on broadcast and cable television will make that possible. The interviews and cinema verite “slice of life” segments in Exodus present an authentic view of African-American atheists, illuminated by commentary from fellow non-believers and clergy. A mass audience needs to see this documentary in order to understand a little discussed and often misunderstood social trend. In addition, Exodus will give Black atheists an authentic voice that must be heard. Interviews with clergy will provide the counterpoint for journalistic integrity.

Informal testing of the sizzle reel with audiences made up of people with widely divergent backgrounds convinced us that Exodus will appeal to a mass audience. It will provoke reactions that programmers want and will advance discussion of the social phenomena of African-American atheism.

Differing from most of the videos about religion or atheism on YouTube, Exodus is not a polemic advocating for a particular point of view. This film is pure journalism so the subjects, both atheists and believers speak in their authentic voices. The interviews were designed to bring out the subjects personal experiences and avoid the trite questions like “why do you hate Jesus?” or “where is your evidence.” Yes, Alix Jules is one of our main subjects and in the Dogma Debates with David Smaley, he confronts religion as a counter apologist. In this film. the personal side of Alix comes out and the viewer sees the atheist as a person rather than a personality. That is not to say we do not see a bit of firebrand atheism, Brea Crutchfield provides an emotional spark. On the other hand, Pastor Lorenzo Neal provides a Christian counterpoint aimed at understanding rather than demonizing African-American atheists.

The African-American religious experience is unique rooted in the history of enslavement and marginalization that has led to Black people adopting the religion of the slave master to create a uniquely African-American religious experience where the church is the center of community and family. But a growing number of African-Americans are identifying openly as atheist and organizing themselves in to groups even while some “mainstream” atheist organizations like American Atheists, led by David Silverman strive to be more diverse. Black Non-Believers, founded by Mandisa Thomas is one example of a national atheist organization that focuses on Black people in America.

We are not producing a polemic, but recognize that there are certainly a number of outspoken critics of Christianity and African- Americans place in the church at large. If you are looking for that “Slave Sermons” by Jeremiah Camara is an excellent series on YouTube. Jeremiah deals with everything from the historical roots of the Black church to “pimp preachers” like T.D. Jakes and Joyce Myer, prosperity gospel as promoted by Joel Osteen, and the ignorance of White Christians like John Hagee, Pat Robertson. We certainly have to acknowledge that besides the “Slave Sermons” series, the producers have enjoyed Contradiction.

We haven’t focused on the many vocal proponents for Christianity you may see on-line like Eddie Long, Dr. Frederick K. C. Price, Creflo Dollar, Bishop E. W. Jackson, Rev. William Owens, Charles Blake. And there are others, who lead more traditional ministries: Crawford Loritts, Dhati Lewis, Joshua DuBois, Miles McPherson, Tony Evans, Bryan Loritts, Trillia Newbell, Tony Carter, Jemar Tisby, Eric Mason.


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