SUNDANCE REVIEW – “Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul”
Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul follows the story of the Childs’ family – owners/founders of a Southern Baptist megachurch in Georgia. The first lady of the church, Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall) carries an immense responsibility on her shoulders as she tries to help the church reopen in the wake of a scandal on behalf of her husband/pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown). The two of them try their hardest to stay above water amongst the allegations, but it seems to be haunting them at every corner.
From directors Adamma Ebo and Adanne Ebo, who made a short-film version of the same story with the same title, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul is half of a mockumentary-style film as pastor Lee-Curtis insists on documenting the grand re-opening of the church as well as his transformations and atonements as a man. However, the film cuts in and out of that format and gives insight into what is said/done between these characters when the cameras are off.
The use of style and formats adds a lot to the story. Not only is it interesting to see how these characters act differently when the cameras are off, but it’s interesting to see how that makes them act differently the next time the cameras are on and how they condition themselves to respond a certain way in favor of public image.
Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall are both fantastic in this movie, delivering both dramatic and hilarious performances in equal measure. However, the Ebo twins direct the hell out of this movie with immense style and precision. At times, it can feel a bit ambitious to a fault – but it’s still a wildly entertaining film from start to finish that gives an amusing and satirical insight into the inner-workings of mega-churches in the south.