Fight Church

Can you love your neighbor while kneeing him in the face? That's the pivotal question asked by a subject in FIGHT CHURCH and is the crux of this provocative new documentary from Daniel Junge and Bryan Storkel. Pastor Paul Burress runs Victory Training out of his church in Rochester, New York. His church is one of many around the country adopting fight ministries as part of their mission.  Not only does Burress use fighting as an evangelical tool with men and boys, but he, like many in this new movement, believes todayÍs Christian needs more of a warrior ethos which can be honed through mixed martial arts.Burress has a dark past and a history of unsanctioned fighting in which he's suffered ten concussions. With the rise of MMAÍs popularity, heÍs tempted to get back into the ring himself, in spite of his doctor's warnings. Complicating matters is that New York is only one of two states in the nation where MMA is illegal, the legislative battle for which Paul and others in the religious community are fighting.Alongside, Pastor BurressÍs complex story, FIGHT CHURCH features several other pastors who are also fighters. Through their inter-twined narratives, culminating in several riveting fights, FIGHT CHURCH seeks to discuss the compatibility of Christianity and mixed martial arts and, moreover, the confluence of religion and violence in our culture.  Through sympathetic subjects on both sides of this debate, the film asks provocative questions about sports, masculinity, free will and morality.

Directors: Bryan Storkel, Daniel  Junge
Producers: Eben Kostbar, Joseph McKelheer

USA | 2013 | Runtime: 84 min

My Films Sessions

Friday, August 1

10:00pm EDT