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What Do You Believe Now?

What happens to your spiritual and religious beliefs over time? Seventeen years after the 2002 documentary WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE? in which six diverse American teenagers shared their spiritual struggles and aspirations, we revisit them to reveal how their beliefs have changed. In this new “before and after” film WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW? a Catholic, Pagan, Jew, Muslim, Lakota, and Buddhist offer their deeply personal faith journeys, life challenges, and evolving ideas about higher powers, life purpose, the nature of suffering, religious intolerance and death. They do so against the backdrop of a society in flux and amidst growing religious polarization and disengagement. Designed to be a stand-alone film, WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW? is an invaluable addition to any discussion on religious diversity and millennial spirituality in America.

Booklist | Candace Smith
"Contrasting footage from the original documentary with contemporary interviews highlights the physical and ideological changes in these teens and makes for compelling viewing."

The Compassion Anthology | Laurette Folk
"I found myself thinking about the people in this film the next day, as if I had private conversations with each of them the night before ... Films like these not only show common ground where empathy can be achieved, but they also present model individuals who take action and make choices others can learn from."

Georgia Southern University | Michael E. Nielsen, Ph.D., Professor & Chair of Psychology Department and former president of the Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Division 36 of the American Psychological Association.
"What Do You Believe Now? offers people the chance to hear from real people about how they make sense of life's big questions. It brings to life a variety of positions and viewpoints, and stimulates students' own thinking about these issues."

Tapinto.net | D. Volz
"In her new film, a Catholic, Pagan, Jew, Muslim, Lakota and Buddhist offer their deeply personal faith journeys, life challenges, and evolving ideas about higher powers, life purpose, the nature of suffering, religious intolerance and death. They do so against the backdrop of a society in flux and amidst growing religious polarization and disengagement."

National Catholic Reporter | Emily McFarlan Miller
"In 2002, filmmaker Sarah Feinbloom interviewed six millennial teenagers about their faith traditions for a documentary titled What Do You Believe? Seventeen years later, Feinbloom is back with What Do You Believe Now?

She caught up with each of the millennials featured in her first film, now in their 30s, to chronicle how their faith has changed since they were teenagers. Pew Research Center data has characterized millennials as "nones" — those who are religiously unaffiliated. Fewer young adults belong to any particular faith than did their parents' and grandparents' generations — even when they were the same age, according to Pew.

But that doesn't mean millennials are uninterested in religion and spirituality — at least, not the ones Feinbloom has followed now for more than a decade."

The Association for Public Religion and Intellectual Life | Julie Byrne
Sarah Feinbloom’s 2002 film What Do You Believe? was centered on the religious lives of six teenagers in the United States, and was voted “One of Ten Best Videos for Young Adults in 2003” by the American Library Association. Seventeen years later she was prompted to do a follow up film, revisiting the same six people, now in their 30s, and asking about their journeys. The result is the 2019 film, What Do You Believe Now?

In the following interview, Julie Byrne, Hartman Chair in Catholic Studies at Hofstra University, talks with Feinbloom about the processes of returning to previous subject matter and what transpires during that time in the lives of informants, filmmakers, and the culture at large. We learn why it’s more difficult to interview 30-year-olds than teenagers, the difficulties of “playing god” in the editing room, and why religion is always more complicated than just a set of “beliefs.”

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Distributor subjects

Religious + Spirituality Studies
Diversity
American Studies
Millennial Studies

Keywords

Religious + Spirituality Studies, Diversity, American Studies, Millennial Studies; "What Do You Believe Now?"; GOOD DOCS