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Marjoe

Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith

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Marjoe
Directed by: Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith
(Docurama)
Winner of the 1972 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary, Marjoe finally makes it to DVD. It tells the story of Marjoe Gortner, who became the youngest ordained minister ever at the age of four. His parents were tent-revival evangelists who trained Marjoe to be a money machine on the southern US revival circuit. All grown up and doing some revival gigs for cash, in this documentary Marjoe gives the lowdown on the con-artistry involved among evangelists who use Jesus as a way to fleece the flock. Shot using the classic direct cinema style of the Maysles Brothers, the viewer watches the charisma of Marjoe in action and alone explaining the tricks of his trade. Though it’s more than 30 years old, Marjoe is still an important and relevant film, showing the charlatan side of televangelism and revivalist preachers.
—Trevor MacLaren

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