Mirjam von Arx
Switzerland, France, Germany | 2012 | 87 min
World premiere
Language : English
Subtitle : French

The Wilsons, an American couple, were blessed with two sons and five daughters. They will all remain virgins until they marry, even saving the first kiss for the wedding ceremony. But waiting for her prince to come is a source of frustration and pressure for their 20-year-old daughter. An impressive view into the world of rituals and rules that represents the ideal of the rapidly growing Evangelical Church.

The Wilsons’ seven beaming children will not only be virgins when they marry, they are even saving the first kiss for the wedding ceremony. As founders of the “Purity Ball”, where girls dance with their fathers, this committed family leads an exemplary evangelical life. Mirjam von Arx spent two years observing an ideal world full of rituals, a world in which the mother home-schools her children and the father, a handsome yet also somehow eerie moral custodian, regularly travels to Washington for the Christian lobby. What the Wilsons think about individual lifestyles comes through clearly in the few – but pointed – questions the filmmaker poses. The video diary shows a girls’ meeting at which the older sister recounts enthusiastically how she was given a husband while the single 20-year-old Jordyn reacts somewhat impatiently. Yet she, too, knows how to channel her energy for this good cause. Virgin Tales offers a direct view of the sexual mores of the religious right wing in the USA, whose ideals are currently experiencing a boom with the strongly growing evangelical church.

Jenny Billeter

Translation BMP Translations