Finding God in the City of Angels: Scriptural Communities and Dynamics in Los Angeles
Documentary Film Premiere
Saturday, February 13, 2010
The second of ISS’s scheduled film premieres, this time at Garrison Auditorium on the Scripps College campus, attracted a near capacity crowd and was a huge success. The screening of “Finding God in the City of Angels” brought together subjects from the film, local students and professors, and community members to showcase in spectacular fashion the research agenda of the Institute for Signifying Scriptures. The film’s focus on the swathe of belief and meaning-making in the city of Los Angeles spurred many attendants to thoughtful reflection. Said one attendee, “I enjoyed [the comparative focus]. I’m often in LA and experience a lot of the communities in LA so this added another layer or texture and depth to the experiences I’m already having.” Others appreciated the diversity of belief, practice and thought that one only finds in a city as unique as Los Angeles. Many people stayed long after the final credits and reception to discuss, share and digest the wealth of intellectual stimulation at this exceptional event.
“Finding God in the City of Angels” is the culmination of a more than year long ISS project. The film project endeavored to highlight the critical, creative, comparative thinking about “scriptures,” and to focus on the ways in which scriptural traditions are made both to shape and secure and to undermine identities, positions, agency, and power. Providing a kaleidoscopic view of the different communities that make up Los Angeles, the film explores the array of scriptural logics and dynamics in the construction of meaning and identity within the complex social space of a city. With stunning visual and auditory footage, the film evokes an appreciation for religion as a dynamic human activity and provokes reflection on the preconceptions about what “religion” is.
Previously, "Finding God in the City of Angels" premiered at a special session of the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in New Orleans on Sunday, November 22. The screening was followed by a lively Q&A session with filmmakers, researchers, and producers.
The film is now available for purchase online (see link below). It is also suitable for classroom instruction and discussion. Please request that your institutional library purchase a copy for its holdings, and order your own copy of this unique production, now.