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Featured DVD Review: Fish Out of Water

April 22nd, 2010

Fish Out of Water - Buy from Amazon

Fish Out of Water is a documentary about what the Bible says about gays and lesbians. A topic that has caused a lot of controversy.

The film starts with an animated short biography of the filmmaker, Ky Dickens, and her experiences coming out. She went to a rather conservative university in the south, Vanderbilt, after being inspired by the movie Fried Green Tomatoes. After she came out to her friends, she realized she didn't know enough about what the Bible really says about gays and lesbians. She set out to learn. When what she learned not only helped her, but her straight, Christian, conservative friends. She decided to make this documentary so that more people could learn what she learned.

So what does the Bible say about gays and lesbians? Apparently, not a lot. In fact, there are only seven passages that deal with the subject. The film concentrates on those seven verses and interviews theologians on both sides of the issue to get to the root of what they mean. They look at not only the etymology of the words in the original text, but also the cultural context they were used. Also interviewed are many members of the LGBTQ community in order to get their view on how their sexuality and religion intersect. There's lot of interesting information here and it's presented in an easy-to-follow fashion. It gives both sides a fair chance to give their argument. (Although choosing Fred Phelps as one of two representatives of the anti-homosexuality side is a bit unfair. Every time I heard Fred Phelps talk, he reminds me of Ted Haggard, only less mentally stable.)

I only have one minor complaint: it's a rather short documentary at just 60 minutes long. It's probably better that it's a short, focused film rather than a film that meanders.

Extras on the DVD include a selection of outtakes from the interviews with LGBTQ that run about 8 minutes long, plus a few text-based extras (director's statement, biographies, etc.).

The Verdict

This is a subject that is one of the most controversial today, and the filmmaker definitely has a point of view. But Fish Out of Water never comes across as too one-sided or preachy. The movie is a little short for a feature-length film, but the DVD is still worth checking out for most, picking up for many.

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