Thursday, June 9, 2016

Oppressed Christian Filmmakers Face Lawsuit

Let's say that you're a Christian filmmaker out to make a movie that supports your faith. What's the best possible way to construct a story for your epic? According to a lawsuit filed against the producers of the Poor Oppressed Christian film God's Not Dead, the answer was apparently to steal it. You know, because there's nothing more Christian than theft, right?

Screenwriter Kelly Kullberg claims she developed a story inspired by her 2006 autobiography Finding God Beyond Harvard: The Quest for Veritas with the help of family-friendly film multihyphenate Michael Landon Jr., who was tapped to produce and direct.

Her screenplay, Rise, never made it to production and she says it's because God's Not Dead producers used her story. So Kullberg and Landon are suing Pure Flix Entertainment and David A.R. White for copyright infringement and seeking at least $100 million in damages.

"The theme, set-up, opportunity, turning point, change of plans, complications, setback, final push, climax, and aftermath of the Rise screenplay and the God’s Not Dead motion picture are the same," states the complaint. "By producing God’s Not Dead, defendants destroyed plaintiffs’ prospects for producing a motion picture based on their Rise screenplay."

I suppose it's probably too much to expect anyone pushing a movie like God's Not Dead to have much integrity, given the completely dishonest approach the film takes to both academia and atheists. The central conflict of the film, a professor requiring students to sign away their religious beliefs, would be entirely illegal in the real United States and, generally speaking, atheists are not "angry with God." I mean, how can you be angry at someone or something that you don't even believe exists?

To be fair, I have no idea if there are any real grounds to this lawsuit, which is a matter for the courts to decide. If it turns out that God's Not Dead was stolen, though, I won't be surprised. Most Poor Oppressed Christians strongly support the idea of one set of rules for them and another for everyone else, because they're so darn special or something.

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