Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music? Vickie Hunter and Heather Whinna

You knew about the overly earnest Christian pop scene, but did you know about the paradoxical Christian death metal scene? You've heard of Rock For Choice, but did you know that there is Rock For Life? (Their logo is a foetus with a guitar.) Two Chicago filmmakers camped out at the annual Cornerstone Christian music festival, where they cast an admirably objective eye on these characters and their surroundings. Some are sad and cult-like (Cool Hand Luke), some are extremely intelligent (the Detholz), but they're all compelling in their articulation of the movement's strengths and pitfalls. There's a healthy balance of the diehards — and in a cult of martyrdom, that term takes on a whole new meaning — with sceptics both secular and spiritual alike. Steve Albini, Pansy Division and Punk Planet's Daniel Sinker raise some of the same questions that deep insiders do, while Danielson and Pedro the Lion explain why they don't like playing for Christians. What all the Christians here have in common is a fierce commitment to questions of philosophy and ethics, which even when downright wrong is still commendable, especially compared to the illiterate grunts that comprise most secular bands. It's not a coincidence, however, that the more reasonable, questioning and moderate the subject, the more likely their music is to be at least interesting. The one element sadly lacking here is an analysis of the crossover with the hardcore scene, where the straightedge kids and anarchists are often as dogmatic and ideologically blind, albeit from the other side. As a documentary, the subject succeeds more than the lo-fi filmmaking does, raising all sorts of questions that leave you wading through the one hour of extra footage in search of more discussion and answers into this world. Plus: directors' commentary. (Blank Stare, www.blankstarefilms.com)