Dust on the Bible
John T. Davis
(1989, 16mm, 50mins)
Introduced by Duncan Campbell and Thomas Beard

Friday, March 5, 2010

Screening at Independent
548 West 22nd Street

The Davis film that had the greatest effect on me...was Dust on The Bible(1989), a documentary about street-corner preachers in Belfast. Dust on The Bible resonates with Davis’ earlier encounter with evangelical Christianity in America’s "Bible Belt" as seen in his film Route 66(1985). Given such a soft target it would have been easy for Davis to simply draw the viewers’ attention to the parallels between the redneck mentality of America’s Deep South and attitudes of religious fundamentalists in Northern Ireland. He doesn’t eschew this point so much as render it ambient. The result is a bleak and tender portrait of the place, a journey through the cultural and economic void that was Northern Ireland at the time.

—Duncan Campbell