The new PBS documentary, The Mormons, is getting some interesting reaction in both the ex-Mormon and Mormon camps. I’m not sure anyone else is watching, quite honestly. But the formers and the currents are watching with GREAT interest. I only watched half, so am holding off on a complete critique, but I thought it was an honest, open and fair look at a controversial religion.
That, of course, will be argued vocifierously by people on both sides of the fence. I have heard from some ex-Mormons who called it a “fluff” piece because it was not more hard-hitting, and some Mormons, who are angry because a lot of time was spent on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, and on polygamy. The active Mormons who are angry feel vilifed. Why? PBS and filmmaker Whitney didn’t have anything to do with either. It’s a very important part of Mormon history. They are angry because both ex- anti- and current-but-not-believing Mormons were featured.
What kind of a documentary would it have been without a balance? A Mormon one. You can see those at Temple Square. But they are not open and honest. They are public relations films.
And the ex-Mormons who are angry? What did you expect? It wasn’t ever aimed at being a hatchet job on the Mormon religion. No documentary filmmaker would last long without being fair and balanced.
Overall, from what I am hearing, Whitney did a fair and decent job.
I think to those who say only the Mormon side should have been represented, or vice versa, haven’t you ever heard the saying, “There are two sides to every story?”
Each side is going to tell a story biased to their slant. Only by garnering all the stories together, can you piece together what happened. There is good and bad about Mormonism. The Mormons was honest about that. What more can you ask?