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By Gregg Goldstein

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Magnolia Pictures has nabbed North American rights to “Jesus Camp,” a documentary about a retreat for born-again Christian children.

The project revolves around three youngsters who attend the Rev. Becky Fischer’s “Kids on Fire” summer camp in Devil’s Lake, N.D. It details their training to “take back America for Christ” and hone “prophetic gifts” in a mission as political as it is religious. The film was directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.

“One of the great strengths of the film is that it doesn’t come with this prepackaged point of view,” said Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles. “It’s almost like a Rorschach test. The groups covered in the film who’ve seen it feel it’s fair and objective presentation, (but) people are going to have wildly differing opinions about it. It really opens up debate.”

Bowles plans an equally objective campaign for the feature, and recently decided to pull its showing from Michael Moore’s Traverse City Film Festival next week.

“Michael Moore is a polarizing figure,” he said. “So it slants the film one way by showing it there, and we don’t want people thinking this is a liberal film.”

Magnolia plans to release the film in more conservative Christian markets where art films aren’t commonly shown, in addition to the indie studio’s traditional art house venues.

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