Melodrama on a Mission: Latter-Day Saint Film and the Melodramatic Mode

  • Author(s): Airen Hall
  • When: 2012-10
  • Where: Source
  • This article examines how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormon Church) makes use of the melodramatic mode in creating short and feature length films for both insider and outsider consumption. The argument is made that the melodramatic mode gives the LDS Church a particularly meaningful tool for accomplishing three key goals: to encourage conversion or re-conversion by provoking tears and pathos, to work out social issues, and to create and maintain a certain identity for the Church as victim-hero. As such, the melodramatic mode is a means for identity formation and community building, significant in a religious context outside the confines of traditional scholarly discourse on Hollywood melodrama.

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