The Last Generation: a documentary on the rise of fundamentalism among young Adventists


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The Last Generation is a feature-length documentary directed by Adrian James and Albert Sabate, two university students from Southern California.

In recent years, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America has witnessed the rise of fundamentalism among young Adventists. The Generation of Youth for Christ, née General Youth Conference (GYC) movement, which draws thousands of young people in different regions, is a manifestation of this phenomenon.

This film focuses on the experiences of some of the youth leaders on the grassroots level of this movement who mobilize their peers in different Adventist communities throughout Southern California. Our aim is to explore how these young Adventists derive a sense of meaning and purpose in this particular brand of religion.

The Last Generation Trailer

The filmmakers point out:

We used the word “fundamentalism” in a way that was strictly consistent with it’s academic definition as far as sociologists, religious historians, and psychologists are concerned: “any belief system that adheres to one unique set of texts, which are considered to be inerrant, universally applicable, and fully authoritative in constructing a worldview.” The model that was most helpful in allowing us to classify and understand this phenomenon was presented in the book The Psychology of Religious Fundamentalism, which appropriately places an emphasis on the role of sacred texts in the experience of a religious fundamentalist. Simply because we have attempted to classify and describe this movement, it does not mean that we as film-makers are attempting to argue against or dismiss the truth claims that are expressed in the movement’s beliefs or doctrines. Furthermore, we recognize that the term fundamentalism has been misused in the past, but we hope that by providing a good definition of the term, we will be able to make a positive contribution in terms of its proper use.

A clip from the film

The Last Generation is scheduled to screen at the following venues in February:

La Sierra University, Hole Memorial Auditorium, Riverside, CA Saturday, Feb. 6 2010, 5:15 p.m. (This event is sponsored by the La Sierra University School of Religion Student Forum.)

Pacific Union College, Campus Center, Angwin, CA Wednesday, Feb. 10 2010, 7:30 p.m. (This event is sponsored by the Spiritual Diversity Film Festival.)

Loma Linda University, Damazo Amphitheater, Loma Linda, CA Saturday, Feb. 20 2010, 2:30 p.m. (This event is sponsored by the Loma Linda University School of Religion’s Humanities Program.)

For more information, including an in-depth FAQ, see the film website http://thelastgenerationfilm.com


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/2133