Wilson takes free form approach to religious film

Photo courtesy of Wanderlust Production

Directed by Darren Wilson (Father of Lights), Holy Ghost is a Christian documentary that emphasizes the importance of faith and divinity. It is an interestingly flawed film that, while very religious and audience-specific, paves the path for a more creative and modern future for Christian films.

Wilson depended on traditional fundraising and donations in order to shoot Holy Ghost. Utilizing smart marketing, he eventually raised enough money to film a project that has supposedly been led only by Jesus, a claim that has garnered enough attention and controversy to watch and discuss Holy Ghost.

At first glance, Holy Ghost’s lack of structure and conventional filmmaking make its viewing experience especially enjoyable.

In order to create a genuine and raw atmosphere, Wilson wanted no script and preconceived notions during the filming of Holy Ghost – while most documentaries have followed this formula, the documentary has advertised itself as being solely guided by enlightenment and faith from the quiet, solemn depths of foreign locations to crowded, loud concerts and social events.

This stylish approach rightfully divulges the storyline of Holy Ghost as an odyssey. The interactive aspects with the different locations, people and spontaneity make the first half of the film more entertaining than it should be. Wilson draws us into a world led by mere faith, spirituality, and the miracles concocted by the one and only Creator.

Unfortunately, its attitude about Christianity is a carbon copy of most other religious documentaries through its repetitive and monotonous nature.

Singers, musicians, religious leaders, and average-Joes begin to shed light on their own journeys finding Christ; the existence of a God is almost never questioned throughout these interviews. Furthermore, the lack of conventional structure in the second half of the movie reeks of self-centered forcefulness: when a documentary has the same aroma as a mockumentary, there seems to be a major problem.

However, committed believers and followers of Christ will most likely have no issues with the film. Holy Ghost takes numerous of risks in regards to the making of the film and the construction of a project that uniquely portrays different cultures, people, and places. Ironically, Wilson completely ignores the other side of the debate, which dangerously leaves a great plethora of other nonbelievers from the movie going experience.

Towards the end of Holy Ghost, Wilson wrongfully assumes that all Christians will agree with the ideas the movie mentions about faith, love, and the Gospel. Not only will some believers view Holy Ghost as propaganda, most nonbelievers may be offended by its many claims and implications. A documentary is generally encouraged to spark debate, conversation, and discussion; Holy Ghost is too audience-specific to realize that it may even have isolated its targeted viewers.

Wilson may have a second chance though. His zealous measures to film the many miracles of Christ caused him to shoot a multitude of scenes that could have easily been split into two movies. A second part of Holy Ghost entitled Holy Ghost Reborn will share many other spiritual journeys.

Surely, the interesting and artful filmmaking techniques will persist in the second movie; hopefully, there will be an exploration of more open-ended, relatable, and curious topics for nonbelievers and believers alike.

Our Take: 3/5