Talena Sanders
Liahona - Full Preview
2013
16mm film transferred to HD
69:30 TRT
for preview only - please email for password - thank you for your interest

"An arresting, deceptively low-key indictment of Mormonism composed almost entirely of found footage."
-Tony Pipolo, ArtForum

"An accomplished experimental feature."
-Genevieve Yue, Reverse Shot

Liahona is an experimental documentary examining the culture, history, and lived experience of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as the Mormon faith. The film shapes a portrait of Mormonism through documentation of LDS cultural dominance in Utah, the suppressed history of folk magic in the early church, landmark Mormon life experiences, and Sanders’ personal history and connection to the church. Found media with the voices of outsiders and insiders illuminate a religion that intrigues many, but is seen as mysterious or inaccessible. Liahona shifts through perspectives on the religion – from reverence to questioning, presenting the complexities of the vast institution of Mormonism contrasted with the tenuity of individual faith.

Liahona is an examination of how mysticism becomes mundane, the balance and the tension in Mormon life experience between the illogical and the pedestrian, the public face of Mormonism and gaps in accessibility. What is it about the Mormons that make them so distinctively different? Recorded on 16mm film, Liahona traverses Utah, Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois and Independence, Missouri to piece together this experience of a faith.

Premiere: 2013 New York Film Festival Views from the Avant-Garde
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