HBO debuted Friends of God: A Road Trip with Alexandra Pelosi last night, and the documentary airs frequently this weekend on HBO’s channels and is available OnDemand.
The film is described as “a look at the many millions of evangelical Christians who have become a formidable force in our culture and our democracy,” and includes interviews with people including Ted Haggard and “the leaders of groups like the Christian Wrestling Federation and Cruisers for Christ (a car club),” according to HBO.
While Pelosi says she avoided “heated political conversations … because they win. Their whole answer to everything is, ‘It’s in the Bible,'” she tells TV Guide that she “tried to focus on the people that I liked.” She also says her goal was “to understand these people, not to make fun of them. I think a lot of times people sit in New York and L.A. and they write about places they’ve never been.”
The film has been mostly well-received by critics. The New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley says “The documentary is a good-natured travelogue: it glances on the more intolerant and grotesque manifestations of Christian fundamentalism and also the faith’s vast following and political clout.” The San Francisco Chronicle’s Mick LaSalle says he’d “prefer if Pelosi were disarming them for a purpose, instead of disarming herself, but in her methodical, nonconfrontational way, she does stumble upon some illuminating moments.” The Boston Globe’s Matthew Gilbert agrees that “this documentary may ultimately say more about the insulated Blue Stater behind the camera than the Red Staters in front of it.”