American Jesus

Spanish documentary maker Aram Garriga examines the collusion of Christianity and consumerism in the U.S., tracing the rise of Christian rock, churches that cater to fans of mixed martial arts, and much more. Structurally this 2013 release recalls the classic shock doc Mondo Cane (1962) and its many spin-offs, presenting one strange discovery after another without organizing them in any meaningful way. The surface tone is less contemptuous than curious, though Garriga tips his hand when he cuts to academic talking heads who describe the Christian culture industry as a form of social control, and his digressions into the history of the Christian right are half-baked.