I recently attended the preview of Freetown, a new Mormon genre movie about—you guessed it—male missionaries. I was hoping it would be a quality film—and it was—but I didn’t hope to see anything I hadn’t seen before. I’ve seen a lot of movies about male Mormon missionaries already (God’s Army, The Other Side of Heaven, The Best Two Years), not to mention the fact that I know a bunch of Mormon missionaries in real life and served alongside dozens of them when I was a missionary myself.
However, Freetown managed to bring something new to the genre that I personally hadn’t seen yet: it is not an American story. It doesn’t take place in the U.S., nor does it document an American missionary’s culture shock as he adapts to living in a distant land. With one very short-lived exception, Americans are not in this movie. Let me repeat that: this Mormon movie is not about Americans! The movie takes place in Liberia in 1990, at the beginning of a civil war. It centers around six native Liberian missionaries attempting to escape their war-torn country.Read More