Walter Brueggemann says that the Old Testament prophets were often telling us that it is not okay, things are not going the way they are supposed to. Injustice, oppression, victimization, tragedy, sorrow, pain and suffering continue to befall us, and “the comfortable” need to wake up, hard and calloused hearts need to be enlightened, and the structures of power and abuse in our society need to be challenged. Houston’s films, in contrast to Capra, seem to adopt this prophetic voice. The prophetic narrative engages in “inversion,” or the challenging of the dominant narrative in society. In the process, celebration is replaced by lament, answers are replaced by questions, and comfortable beliefs, assumptions, attitudes and feelings are challenged.
– from the upcoming book “How to Film the Truth: The Story of Documentary Film As a Spiritual Journey” to be released in the Summer of 2018 by Wipf & Stock