Christian Filmmaker Under Heat for Movie on Netflix Critiquing “Hook Up” Culture
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
A recent Netflix documentary is coming under flack by liberal critics for having a hidden agenda. LIBERATED: THE NEW SEXUAL REVOLUTION, released in 2017 and follows the sexual culture of today by looking at Spring Break and the consequences of partying behavior during this infamous week off from school. Yet, in contrast to many Netflix options, LIBERATED poses a very telling question about the sexual landscape of our world and the darkness behind it.
Benjamin Nolot, a Christian documentarian, directed LIBERATED. Within the first few minutes of the movie, audiences are confronted with the sad truth of today’s oversexualized cultures. Many spring break partiers were interviewed on the beach or on the way to celebrate the week and were asked about their motives for sex, and the answers are usually exactly what you’d expect.
A recent article came out against the documentary, calling Nolot and his team “Christian Fundamentalists.” The piece blindsided Nolot, and as such, has spurred controversy around his intention for his documentary. For instance, when he and his team took LIBERATED to screenings and universities around the country and abroad, many viewers were unhappy with the portrayal of onscreen events because they showed the emptiness in hook-up culture and one-night-stands. One viewer relayed his distaste saying LIBERATED painted, “casual sex as inherently disempowering.”
These liberal critics gathered that Nolot and his LIBERATED team kept their conservative beliefs about sex before marriage quiet in order to “push their agenda.” Yet, Nolot never hid his thoughts on how society has devalued sex. He said, “Sex means something, and if it doesn’t, then why is adultery a thing? And if it doesn’t, then why is rape a thing? Treating [sex] with the reverence or respect it deserves is a way to move past the rape culture that we are currently living in.”
The piece went through Nolot’s previous documentary about sex-trafficking along with his connection to religious institutions such as the International House of Prayer in Kansas City and Exodus Cry, an organization that was birthed out of prayer to help end sex slavery. In addition, a tweet from 2013 on Nolot’s was unearthed that states Nolot opposes homosexual marriage as it contradicts God’s heart for marriage.
The article unpacks another person’s negative view of the movie, “It’s a ‘shrewd’ but alarming strategy… the solution offered by the groups behind this film is ‘purity culture’ and abstinence… It’s very concerning to see this film making its way to a mainstream audience via Netflix.”
LIBERATED hopes to present the sexual landscape of our culture as it is rather than preach about it. Like it or not, Christian filmmakers have the right to make movies however they want, just as any other religious filmmaker has that same right in the U.S. Not to mention the fact that it’s near impossible to create a documentary without calling audiences to a greater sense of awareness, no matter what side of the argument viewers will take. This is why media discernment is so vital!
With Netflix pushing dangerous views of sexual promiscuity in many of its shows, it’s encouraging to see a movie showing the many dangers that come with it.