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In November of 1833, the state of Missouri turned a blind eye as hundreds of its peaceful inhabitants were hunted down.

The Work And The Glory: American Zion Opens 10/21/05 + Giveaway

Opening Friday, October 21, 2005 is the Vineyard Productions produced The Work And The Glory: American Zion, directed by Sundance Film Festival founder Sterling Van Wagenan (Alan & Naomi, The Haunted Desert: Archaelogy and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Convicts) and starring Jonathan Scarfe (Into The West, The L-Word) – as the film’s hero Joseph Smith – and Eric Johnson (Legends Of The Fall, Smallville) – as the anti-hero Joshua Steed.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievance.
– The Bill of Rights, Amendment I

In November of 1833, the state of Missouri turned a blind eye as hundreds of its peaceful inhabitants were hunted down and driven from their homes in the dead of night. Against this impending strife, a young man with a divine vision leads a people against the aggression of an anti-hero with a vulnerable past. The Work and The Glory: American Zion sets the story of the fictional Steed family against the historically factual backdrop of the Mormon people’s move into the West. Divided by their diverse reactions to a nascent ideology, the Steeds struggle to hold together as the strength of their convictions and their filial bonds are tested.

The stirring narrative of the faith that led a persecuted people to Missouri and beyond is one of the most poignant untold tales of American history. It is the account of a valiant struggle to exercise the rights promised by a fledgling nation. The Work And The Glory: American Zion unearths the story of the passion behind the movement which eventually launched the largest American migration and the colonization of the West: the vision of a promised land in America.

From the production:

Q: Going into the film, what were your goals for how Joseph Smith would be portrayed?

Sterling Van Wagenen: In a sense, the goals were really quite simple: to make Joseph as believable as possible on a scene-by-scene basis. The character Joseph Smith is the engine that drives the changes that happen to the Steed Family – the struggles they have as a family in one way or another are all reactions to Joseph Smith and the vision he has for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In terms of making this happen with this actor, he had to be believable as a driving force.

“This series tries to draw a persecuted people out of the margins of our cultural memory. Very few people know of the injustices inflicted by the government against a group of its own citizens who wanted only to exercise their First Amendment rights. People don’t know that this exodus had such a fundamental impact on shaping the West.” – Van Wagenen

Vineyard Productions and Special Ops Media are sponsoring a giveaway of 4 American Zion t-shirts (one small, one medium, two large), bookmarks and small one-sheet posters, which I am in possession of. Winners will receive stuff! Please comment to enter and the giveaway ends 10/28/05 at 5 PM PST.

Official Website: www.americanzion.com
Official Trailers (Quicktime):

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About Tan The Man

Tan The Man writes mostly about film and music. He has previously covered events like Noise Pop, Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival, South By Southwest, TBD Festival, and Wizard World Comic Con.

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