1. "Born Again," produced and directed by me (James Ault) and Michael Camerini, was my first documentary film project. From it I began learning the arts and crafts of documentary filmmaking in its most intimate, cinéma vérité form, where the story is told not by narration but by real-life scenes and stories told to camera. The film grew out of my ethnographic research, as a sociologist, on grass-roots New Right activists in the "Moral Majority" era. John Marshall, one of America's pioneers in cinéma vérité filmmaking, got me started in the project, and introduced me to the medium. But, I ended up co-producing and co-directing "Born Again" with Michael Camerini, who served as cinematographer as well. Our principal editor was Adrienne Miesmer, who edited Marshall's classic, "Nyae: the Story of a !Kung Woman." I tell the story of this project, along with the background of its central characters and what's happened to them and their church since, in my book "Spirit and Flesh" published by Knopf in 2005. For more about this and other work visit jamesault.com.

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  2. Produced & Directed by James Ault & Michael Camerini
    Cinematographer: Michael Camerini
    Edited by Adrienne Miesmer
    This opening montage gives a glimpse of the personal dramas we weave together to portray the daily life and work of this fundamentalist Baptist church outside Worcester, Massachusetts. This film grew out of research I was doing on grass-roots social conservatives in the heyday of the Moral Majority when churches like this were changing American politics beyond recognition. We shot 35 hours of 16mm film over a six-month period. It was my first film, and through it I first began to learn the methods, arts and crafts of cinéma vérité filmmaking, and of getting intimate footage of important stories in peoples' lives and building them into films. I had good teachers—not only in collaborators and crew, but also in subjects. I tell the story of making it in my book “Spirit and Flesh” (Knopf, 2004), including the lessons my experience with this church, and other new right groups I met, taught me about how to better understand conflicts over "family value issues" in American life. “Born Again” was broadcast as a national primetime special on PBS in 1987, on Channel 4 in the UK, and around the world. It won a Blue Ribbon at the American Film Festival.

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  3. A passage from our film "Born Again: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church (PBS 1987) centering on two back-to-back scenes (after a prayer meeting) of the pastor meeting, first, with Emma, who's left her husband and is living with another man, and, then, later that afternoon, with her husband, Bob, to convey the bad news. This was one story thread from the film. The footage from each meeting was edited from about seven or eight times what you see.

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"Born Again" clips

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The opening and one passage from our award-winning documentary feature, "Born Again: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church." The passage develops the story of a husband, Bob, whose wife has left him and is living with her new boyfriend. The pastor has…


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The opening and one passage from our award-winning documentary feature, "Born Again: Life in a Fundamentalist Baptist Church." The passage develops the story of a husband, Bob, whose wife has left him and is living with her new boyfriend. The pastor has been working to both hold him together and save his marriage. After meeting today with his wife, Emma, he has discouraging news to share with Bob.
This is one of several personal dramas interwoven in this film, which aired as a prime-time special in the USA and around the world. My book telling the story of this project, "Spirit and Flesh," was named one of the five best nonfiction books of the year by the Christian Science Monitor when it was published by Knopf in 2004. For more see jamesault.com.

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  • Shimon Haber

    These are part of movie or individual video clips? On the Vimeo channel vimeo.com/shimonhaber I found a book from Shimon Haber named born 1957 in Newark, NJ, but don't know if it's from the same author

    by Shimon Haber

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