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Is Dustin Lance Black’s Prop 8 Doc Going to Slay the Mormon Church?

You didn’t think a filmmaker would miss out on the chance to turn November 2008 into a feature documentary, did you? 8: The Mormon Proposition is, to our knowledge, the first major film dedicated to figuring out just what the hell happened in California when Proposition 8 passed. And the reason you won’t be able to ignore this film? Because of the heavy hitters behind it.


Dustin Lance Black narrates. Big bucks philanthropist Bruce Bastion exec produces. And Steven Greenstreet, whose doc This Divided State was about none other than Michael Moore, and his 2004 visit to a college campus that yielded death threats and lawsuits, produces.


And then there’s producer-writer-director Reed Cowan, who blogged over the weekend about how making this film has cost him his family: “My determination has been tested. At this writing, I have lost communication with my sisters and my mother and my father. They are wonderful people and they are Mormons. The fear they have over what this film will say has worn thin to the point that our relationships are stressed and I fear broken forever. I’ve agonized over hurting them and I’ve agonized over hurting my other devoutly Mormon friends and family by releasing this film. For the anticipated hurts, I sincerely apologize. I wish no one on this planet pain.”

But all is not lost. Reed has a message to deliver, and he’s promised to do it.

But I finish this film as a promise to those who came to share their stories. A promise that I heard them. A promise that I felt their words and their desires. A promise that I wont let their words stay on a quiet tape somewhere locked away.

One of the most articulate spokespeople for civil rights is holocaust survivor, Elie Weisel (NIGHT).

The words he once spoke drive me to continue my work to get this film out to the masses.

“I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Indeed, on this issue, I have taken sides. I side with civil rights. And I give you “8: THE MORMON PROPOSITION” in pursuit of the day when we all know a world where civil rights are extended happily to all.

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