Christian punk rock music has existed since the 80s and its influence in the music scene is like a growing caterpillar just waiting to blossom. In ChristCORE, the local music scene is explored in current context by following two bands, Messengers, who are new, and Sleeping Giant, the superstars, as they tour through America’s Bible Belt. They are there to spread the word of God that should appeal to the younger generation of today, especially the rebellious ones.
This film is a fascinating look at a world that not many conservative people may understand. The perspective from the band members shows what they have to face to make a name for themselves but yet stay true to the messages of faith being sung. These modern-day minstrels traded the gospels away for a grungier sound, if not a contradiction in terms of the type of lyrics they sing. And filmmaker Justin Ludwig placed his faith in the hopes his film will open the eyes of orthodox moviegoers to the unorthodox.
He has succeeded to a certain degree. This product will open people up to debate the meaning of what punk rock music is about versus the gospels. To see whom these musicians have affected by virtue is more enduring than the segments showing the ‘faith healing’ that Tommy Green, singer of Sleeping Giant, believes he can do. The latter serves no purpose other than revealing the conviction he has with the Lord. He seems genuine, and that is left for the viewer to decide.
To see how these two bands are redefining the hardcore movement is even far more interesting if this film was only more tightly edited. Instead, this documentary is more like a loose knit collection of vignettes. Had this film provided some historical context in its build-up to looking at the modern scene, perhaps a better understanding of this genre can be heard. ChristCore feels more like a chapter in a larger book that stills needs to be written.
Victoria Film Festival 2013