Despite the reality of overwhelmingly peaceful Latter-day Saints, an odd cultural relic continues to portray members of the Church of Jesus Christ as violent. This is the main thesis in the recent series Under the Banner of Heaven. 

Riding the wave, a new film Sinner v. Saint has just been announced, which has a Latter-day Saint main character and plenty of violence. In perhaps a welcome relief, this story doesn’t portray the Latter-day Saints as the perpetrators of violence, but rather as the victims. The story recounts the true story of a missionary who was kidnapped, tied up, and repeatedly raped before escaping.

You might expect this story to be a somber account of the vestiges of anti-religious fervor, or the marginalization of Latter-day Saints in our popular imagination painting us as little more than pawns to be used. But who are we kidding?  The director, Tim Kirby has almost exclusively worked in comedies such as Fleabag, Veep, and Brockmire. Kirby describes the story as featuring “zany twists” and “quirky characters.” And ultimately he says the story is all about “obsessive first love.”

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