First Run Features to Release
Opening at New York’s Cinema Village on January 8, 2010
50 million Americans believe that the End of the World is just the beginning.
Waiting for Armageddon explores the culture of 50 million American Evangelicals who believe that Bible prophecy dictates the future of mankind and that Israel and the Jewish people play pivotal roles in ensuring Christ’s return. The film raises questions regarding how this theology shapes U.S.- Middle East relations and how it may even encourage an international holy war.
Using intimate portraits and archival footage to explore how literal belief in Biblical prophecy – including the Rapture and Armageddon – exerts a dangerous influence on U.S. relations in the Middle East, Waiting for Armageddon tells its story through the eyes of three evangelical families who are certain that upon Christ's Second Coming they will be “raptured” or lifted into the skies to join Christ while the rest of humanity suffers for seven years during “The Tribulation.”
Although the film takes viewers from Connecticut to Oregon, all three families find the modern world laden with symbolism that suggests the End Times are at hand. Israel is central to this, as the Holy Land is where the battle of Armageddon will destroy the earth, clearing the way for Christ to return and create a new, perfect world. Leaders of Armageddon theology pressure the White House, we learn, and their numbers are growing. In the end, Waiting for Armageddon considers whether this large American voting block may be creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of all-out war.
The film then follows a Christian Study Tour group to Israel – among the tens of thousands of Evangelicals who pour into the Holy Land each year. The tourists are baptized in the River Jordon, sing the US national anthem on the Sea of Galilee, proclaim love for Israel, and describe how the Dome of the Rock, one of the holiest sites in Islam, must be destroyed in order for Jesus to return. A controversial, potentially explosive relationship between Christian Evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims emerges. At an evangelical conference in Dallas, Texas, the film’s characters urge others to spread Biblical literalism and counter the dangerous effects of post-modernism. The climax of the gathering comes as Pastor John Hagee, the enormously influential Texas Minister of an 18,000-member mega-church, declares, “World War III has started.”
Directors Kate Davis, David Heilbroner and Franco Sacchi have been making award-winning documentaries for 15 years. Davis won more than 25 awards for Southern Comfort, including the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and she also won an Emmy for Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming for Jockey. Heilbroner has made over a dozen films on social justice issues, and Franco Sacchi's recent film This is Nollywood was released worldwide.
Waiting for Armageddon
74 minutes, color, HDCam, 2009
Directed by Kate Davis, Franco Sacchi, David Heilbroner
Produced by David Heilbroner, Franco Sacchi
Filmed by Franco Sacchi, Kate Davis
Co-Producers Hermine Muskat, Roberta Dougan, Andrew Herwitz
Composer Gary Lionelli
“Alarmingly good and incendiary.” –Ella Taylor, Village Voice
“An extraordinarily impressive work that manages to take a complex, in ways
contradictory subject and present it in a lucid, perceptive manner that allow us
to understand the phenomenon of Christian Zionism and pre-Tribulation politics.”
–Richard Peña, Film Society of Lincoln Center
“This absorbing film elucidates evangelical Christians’ morbid fascination with apocalyptic violence … fascinating and appropriately unnerving.” –Gordon Haber, The Forward
“Infuriating and frightening…an eye-opening look at what 50 million of your fellow Americans believe and are striving to achieve.” –Peter Keough, The Boston Phoenix
“A riveting and provocative production depicting Evangelical Christians who devoutly believe
in an imminent religious apocalypse.” –Gary Rosenblatt, The Jewish Journal
“An eyes-wide-open look at the belief of 50 million Evangelical Christians…
This film is a fascinating and complex look at a controversial subject.”
–Kristin McCracken, Tribeca Blog (Tribeca Film Festival)
More information, including the press kit, photos, and additional playdates, is available at www.firstrunfeatures.com or www.waitingforarmageddon.com