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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

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