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446. Apostasy; movie review

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Title : 446. Apostasy; movie review
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Cert PG
93 mins
BBFC advice: Contains mild bad language, upsetting scenes

What must it be like to be brought up in a household in which religion dominates?
It is unfathomable for most of us in secular society and particularly for those of us, such as Mrs W and me, who need concrete evidence rather than faith.
As a child, I was a little frightened when I heard that Jehovah's Witnesses believed the world would come to an end in 1975.
In fact, I wrote down the dire warning in one of my old pads I used for recording the scores of Subbuteo matches.
Since I have grown older I have become even more bemused by a religion which would even allow a child to die rather than have a blood transfusion.
This is the issue at the heart of Daniel Kokotajlo's enthralling Apostasy.
Its subject is Alex (Molly Wright) a sick teenager who has been indoctrinated by her mother (Siobhan Finneran), a religious devotee.
Meanwhile, her sister (Sacha Parkinson) has her beliefs tested, prompting her mother to have to choose between her teachings and her daughters on two fronts.
As said, neither Mrs W nor I are religious so there was much exhaling in dismay as we watched Apostasy because of the unswerving beliefs of the Jehovah's Witnesses usurping family love.
Our reaction demonstrated its effectiveness. Indeed, it struck us as more believable that The Children Act which attacks the same subject.
The authenticity is down to the fact that Kokotajlo was brought up in the religion and, therefore, he is able to go into detail of its methods.
Meanwhile, his film is all the more poignant for being set in a down-at-heel English estate.
It is clear that, for all the sense of community provided by Jehovah's Witnesses, Kokotajlo believes there is little room for flexibility in how followers adopt their faith
Is his story entirely believable? Well, Mrs W said that a former work colleague who was a Jehovah's Witness had recounted a very similar tale to her a few years ago.
Regardless, Apostasy is a surprisingly compelling movie which had us both riveted.

Reasons to watch: Illuminating insight in Jehovah's Witnesses
Reasons to avoid: If you are a Jehovah's Witness

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: Yes
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 8.5/10

Director quote - Daniel Kokotajlo: "I did feel a pressure to be as accurate and as honest as possible. I didn’t want people still in the religion to be able to say: this is just propaganda. I needed it to be right.”

The big question - How can blind faith rule a parent over the needs of their own child?

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