WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW?
Film poster for "What Do You Believe Now?" with faded side profile silhouettes of six people.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW?
Film poster for "What Do You Believe Now?" with faded side profile silhouettes of six people.
Six Stories. Seventeen Years. The Spiritual Journeys of American Millennials.

WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW?

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"Fascinating ... Compelling" - Booklist ​| RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online | OFFICIAL SELECTION - National Association for Multicultural Educators Film Festival

Religious + Spirituality Studies • Diversity • American Studies • Millennial Studies

Date of Completion: 2019 | Run Time: 68 minutes​​ | Language: English | Captions: Yes | Includes: Transcript Director: Sarah Feinbloom | Producers: Sarah Feinbloom & Alex Regalado

    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.

    Video Librarian | Michael LaMagna
    "[What Do You Believe Now?] provides an additional perspective on faith from the subjects and is highly recommended for all libraries supporting religious studies, American studies, and sociology as this title is designed and firmly stands on its own. Highly Recommended."

    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.” 

    Grand Jury Award for Originality | Interfaith Film & Music Festival
    Official Selection 
    | National Association for Multicultural Education Film Festival
    Official Selection | Mill Valley Film Festival

    SCREENINGS

    Philadelphia Office of Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs
    Saint Thomas More
    First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael
    Scugog First Nation

    REQUEST A GOOD TALK WITH SARAH FEINBLOOM

    Director of WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW?

    Sarah Feinbloom is an award-winning director, producer and editor whose work includes educational documentaries, dramatic narratives and fundraising videos. She is also the founder and executive director of GOOD DOCS – an educational distribution company specializing in human rights and social issue documentaries. As the head of GOOD DOCS since 2013, Sarah has been responsible, along with her team, for curating a growing collection of impactful educational documentaries. GOOD DOCS films are part of the permanent collections in more than a thousand college and university libraries. She also created GOOD TALKS - a powerful, highly sought out speaker series which has brought filmmakers, activists and their films to hundreds of schools, programs and community groups.

    In much of her own documentary film work, Sarah has developed and practiced a collaborative filmmaking approach, partnering with individuals and communities to center their stories and experiences. Her first film was a co-production with her Boston high school students in 1991 called YOUTH TO YOUTH - A Video About Violence. By putting cameras into the hands of her students, she was one of the early independent filmmakers to foster and promote youth led storytelling. In 2005 she directed and produced DAUGHTERS AND SONS - Preventing Child Trafficking In The Golden Triangle which raised over $200,000 for a Thai NGO working on protecting Thai, Hmong, Karen and Vietnamese children. Some of her other credits include EARTH, WATER, WOMAN (2013) about a Rastafarian Trinidadian woman and her community combating climate change in the Caribbean, and MANY LOVES, ONE HEART (2017) on LGBT activists in Jamaica.

    Her latest project WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE NOW?  (2019) is a feature length follow up to her 2002 documentary WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE? which focus on the spiritual and religious journeys of a diverse group of teens into their adulthoods. Both films premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE? aired on PBS in 2003 and screened internationally at venues including the National Association of Multicultural Education and the American Academy of Religion. It was voted “One of the Ten Best Videos for Young Adults in 2003” by the American Library Association and has been shown at over 2,000 schools and colleges. Sarah also created and led participant centered workshops on interfaith dialogue and religious diversity. She has been a featured speaker for the Ford Foundation Difficult Dialogue Series, the Graduate Theological Union's conference Religious Pluralism in the 21st Century, and the Religions For Peace-USA Symposium: Beyond Bigotry. 

    Sarah has a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College, Columbia University and an M.A. in Education from Tufts University. She has taught high school social studies, ESL and youth filmmaking workshops.