Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

VIFF movie review: Virgin Tales

Virgin Tales, directed by Mirjam von Arx

2.5 out of 4 stars

Virgin Tales
Directed by
Mirjam von Arx
France / Germany / Switzerland

What you think of the purity ball craze depends entirely on your perspective: Evangelical Christians (25 per cent of the U.S. population, according to this film), may view the prom-like ceremonies as sweet affirmations of the father-daughter relationship and the girls' commitment to Christ. For the rest of us, they are creepy and bizarre: girls in white tulle dresses snapping photos in front of a wooden cross and, as their proud dads beam, vowing premarital celibacy. The same point-of-view equation applies to this documentary, which focuses on the family of the Colorado minister who invented the concept, including his bright daughter who sees no point in a postsecondary education when she really just wants to be a wife and mother; and her home-schooling mom who doesn't understand algebra but trusts God will help her figure it out. While the film is rich in such material, it suffers from a complete lack of tension – other than that between the subject matter and the implied, liberal audience. Still, in the run-up to the U.S. election, this is relevant viewing, as these believers make clear their true mission: to bring more of Christ to the White House.

Oct. 4, 6 p.m., Granville 1; Oct. 7, 12:15 p.m., Granville 5; Oct. 12, 3:15 p.m., Granville 1

Report an error

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Globe Newsletters

Get a summary of news of the day

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at