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Aug 13, 2023

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It’s been about two years since the bizarre death of Gwen Shamblin Lara and her husband Joe Lara in a private plane crash in June 2021, but media coverage of the two charismatic Christians is only just now coming to a climax with the release of dueling films profiling the pair. HBO has a new documentary, but we focus on Lifetime’s GWEN SHAMBLIN: STARVING FOR SALVATION, which stars Jennifer Grey (DIRTY DANCING, FERRIS BUELER’S DAY OFF) in the lead role as Gwen, covering her life’s journey from housewife to cult leader. We at Boys’ Bible Study previously covered Gwen ourselves back in 2021, learning about her extensive and specific theories on how you can replace gluttonous urges with prayer. Her most famous theory is that one must wait for “The Growl”, a stomach growl which sometimes requires fasting as long as 36 hours at a time to truly experience. STARVING FOR SALVATION doesn’t get too deeply into the content of Gwen’s teachings, but the film is impressively researched and entertaining as it recreates the harrowing atmosphere of a southern belle cult leader who exerts total control over the dogma (and diets) of her congregation. Watch as Gwen and Joe go shopping for a private plane to add to their tacky, opulent estate — the same plane that would later come crashing down in a Tennessee lake, bringing an abrupt end to Gwen’s reign over Remnant Fellowship. The Church lives on, and has even issued a harsh press statement denouncing Lifetime’s biopic, but they should be grateful! GWEN SHAMBLIN: STARVING FOR SALVATION is not a flattering portrait, but we think Gwen would enjoy seeing her legacy live on in such an entertaining and, dare we say, “iconic” way.

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