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Parents' Guide to

The Jesus Music

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Interesting docu on faith-based music is mostly for fans.

Movie PG-13 2021 109 minutes
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Kids say (2 ):

Despite some flaws -- it's mainly made for those already in the CCM fan club, and it has a distinct shortage of actual music -- this documentary is still well-researched and professionally made. But any outsiders who are curious about the genre and interested in a basic course may have to look elsewhere, because The Jesus Music introduces each of its acts as if no introduction were necessary. Moreover, the samples of their music are frustratingly short, and it's hard to get a handle on just what makes the performers different from one another (aside from, say, Stryper's long-hair heavy-metal sound and Amy Grant's radio-friendly pop). Newcomers are sure to be lost from time to time. For example, an important early compilation album that kick-started the movement is given cursory treatment here, as if its significance was already common knowledge.

On the plus side, the interviewees are all cheerful, interesting folks, and eventually their stories start to come together. Grant, for example, is very open about her controversial 1999 divorce and the toll it took on her life and career. There seems to be a great deal of trust here. But the most interesting aspect of The Jesus Music is that, despite singing the praises of the Lord, the performers are all, or have been at some point, outsiders from the church itself, which routinely disapproved of their music. The irony of the church's intolerance seems to have been lost on the filmmakers, but this outsider quality nonetheless makes the interviewees more appealing. Perhaps some other movie someday can provide more background information for newcomers, but, for CCM fans, The Jesus Music should be heavenly.

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