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Jan 28, 2024

Baruch atah Adonai, y’all! We’re back exploring the exciting filmography of director Chip Rossetti and his co-director/writer/muse Donald James Parker, aka “Gramps” of GRAMPS GOES TO COLLEGE fame. Both of these men are artists we at Boys’ Bible Study consider powerhouses of the DIY Christian film community. We’re excited to tentatively declare THE UNEXPECTED BAR MITZVAH the best film we’ve seen so far coming from their longtime collaboration, which is remarkable given the strength of GRAMPS GOES TO COLLEGE, the film that singlehandedly took on the evils of evolution, teen horniness, and binge drinking. Donald James Parker’s script for THE UNEXPECTED BAR MITZVAH is remarkably complex, both in the way it advocates for a combination of Messianic Judaism and Charismatic Protestantism as the ultimate way to worship God, but also for the way it treads the line between well-studied respect for Jewish traditions and insane anti-Semitic depictions of the day-to-day lives of Jewish people. The film opens with a yarmulke-wearing father screaming at his son forbidding him from being a fan of the briefly sensational Christian football player Tim Tebow. Then, we meet a 12-year-old Christian jock who is obsessed with reading about the Holocaust and has the life goal of making a Jewish friend who he could convert to Christ. When the Jewish boy and Christian boy’s lives suddenly collide, both of their families are changed forever, and something... let’s just say, “unexpected” happens. An endless amount of quotable lines, laugh out loud scenes, and deep religious lore make THE UNEXPECTED BAR MITZVAH a riveting watch we’d recommend to all lovers of DIY film.

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