Reviews of “Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul”
Adamma and Adanne Ebo‘s Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul–with Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, Nicole Beharie, and Conphidance–made a big splash at Sundance. Here are some of the reviews:
Expanding upon a 2018 short of the same name[see below], the sibling filmmakers known as the Ebo twins — writer-director-producer Adamma Ebo and producer Adanne Ebo — use a mix of mockumentary and conventional narrative to lampoon the prosperity gospel, à la the Bakkers, but from a distinctly Southern Black perspective. There are suggestions that the helmer isn’t just skewering the idea of a personality-cult money machine, but also grappling with questions about religion as a community’s vital connective tissue, although those questions feel half-formed.
That said, it’s impressive that the Ebos were able to gain access to the Cathedral at Chapel Hill, another Georgia megachurch mired in controversy after its televangelist founder was exposed as an adulterer. Dressed up with makeshift “Welcome to Greater Paths” signs, the massive structure looks like a cross between a sports arena and a Mormon tabernacle.
The film is, particularly in its first act, very funny indeed: a scene in which Trinitie and Lee-Curtis walk us through their dazzling shared closet and she coos, “There’s just something about a pastor in Prada!” or a sequence that sees the couple demanding to reshoot a baptism because they can’t agree on the proper way to pronounce “Amen!” at its conclusion are incredibly amusing.
Bonet and her crew tend to continue shooting the Childs for longer than either Trinitie or Lee-Curtis wish they would, so we spend much of “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” waiting for Trinitie either to get fed up or to just honestly address Lee-Curtis’s increasing desperation. His plan — or really, hopes — to re-open the Wander the Greater Path Baptist Church doesn’t look like much, especially given that many of his church’s parishioners have already moved on to the nearby Heaven’s House Baptist Church
In the aftermath of a huge scandal, Trinitie Childs, the first lady of a prominent Southern Baptist Mega Church, attempts to help her pastor-husband, Lee-Curtis Childs, rebuild their congregation.