The Christian comedian brings laughs, conviction and encouragement in her latest picture.
Chonda Pierce: Unashamed is the third documentary from Chonda Pierce and it features one of her stand-up comedy routines and interviews with several high-profile members of the Christian community; they include former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, real estate entrepreneurs the Benham Brothers - David Benham and Jason Benham - and musicians Michael Tait of the Newsboys and Danny Gokey.
First and foremost, Pierce is a devout Believer sharing her faith as part of her daily life, which comes through in this film. She is also very funny and her comedy routine, which was filmed in Murfreesboro, TN, punctuates this entire production. The interviews, too, are powerful and should prove edifying to viewers.
All of the participants, including Pierce, talk about challenges they've faced being Christians, including harassment, discrimination and even persecution. The Benhams, for instance, recount losing a reality TV show because of their Christian convictions and Pierce talks about how neighbors refused to speak with her after she became part of faith-based advisory group for the Trump administration.
The discussions are frank and often deeply personal, as when Pierce shares about how she came to terms with the death of her husband nearly four years ago. The overall tenor of this film, however, is uplifting. None of the guests come across as embittered and they all discuss how the things they've faced have in fact strengthened their Christian faith.
Director Rick Altizer balances the mix of her comedy routine and the interviews just right and that keeps the documentary moving at the proper pace. We have only two real criticisms, one technical and the other editorial. First, the aspect ratio of the cinematography from the stand-up routine was off at times, resulting in Pierce's head being repeatedly out of frame. Second, the film is followed by a question-and-answer segment that Pierce conducts with a six-member panel of Believers: it was not particularly strong and came as something of a letdown after the film itself.
Be that as it may, Christian Film Blog liked this one. We rate it a 7.5 out of 10 and recommend you go see it. There is one very important point on that score: Chonda Pierce: Unashamed is a limited engagement put on by Fathom Events, a joint venture between America's three largest theater chains, and it will play just one more day - Thursday, May 9th. You can check out locations and show times via this link.