There is a moment in the denominational documentary Jesus’ music during which Platinum Grammy Award-winning Amy Grant and “the cornerstone of Christian music” Michael W. Smith sit by a fire that refuses to go out. The flames parallel how the film, a proud celebration of contemporary Christian music, proposes that these songs refuse to fade away. At times like this, the nearly two-hour documentary manages to become exactly what the target audience will most certainly be eager to see. However, as a documentary, this one-sided praise is more like an extensive infomercial for a “best of” CD collection than a compelling glimpse into the industry.
Directors Jon and Andrew Erwin seek to educate viewers about a very specific history of Christian music, using a standard format of interviews with industry professionals and occasional archive footage that tells a story of the music. life of the genre, from the early days of Larry Norman to the heights of Kirk Franklin and beyond. It’s clear that Jesus’ music aims to tell a very specific story from a very specific point of view: and from that very specific perspective of praise, viewers discover the moments in the story that filmmakers might consider to be highlights of the industry, featuring a chorus of iconic names to echo those hallelujahs.
However, the lack of questioning and analysis causes the film to repeat the same melody. It becomes an uncritical Wikipedia article, summarizing and singing the praises of one notable event before moving on to the next. Other than a few very short segments, there is hardly any point where the filmmakers seek to discuss a conflict, and even then the blame is almost always quickly placed away from the industry and onto anonymous individuals, providing little information and past analysis. the surface.
While this approach can be an exciting celebration of the genre, it unfortunately leads to a rather drab and repetitive documentary unlikely to capture the interest of anyone other than avid devotees of Christian music.