If you haven’t heard of the new movie from Excel Entertainment called Jane and Emma, you’re going to want to watch the trailer below. It’s a new film slated to be released on October 12, 2018, that tells the story of the relationship between Jane Manning James and Emma Smith. The bad news is that it will only be available in select theaters. The good news is that it’s already garnering some fascinating media attention.
Jane and Emma synopsis
In case this is the first time you’re hearing about this movie, here’s a quick synopsis from the film’s website, janeaneemmamovie.com:
Two women. One white. The other black. Society mandated they be enemies. The gospel of Jesus Christ required they be friends. On the eve of the death of Joseph Smith, his widow, Emma, is on the brink of destruction. In order to stand with her friend in her darkest hour, one woman, Jane Manning, will need to hear the voice of God once more. Can she hear His voice again? And if so, can she find the strength to abide it?
Media attention: Medium.com
Medium.com recently published a piece titled Are Mormons Having a Public Conversation Everyone Else Should Be Having? by Matthew Faraci, who is not a Latter-day Saint. In fact, the first sentence is, “I am not a Mormon.” But what follows that sentence is actually pretty awesome.
“By putting this piece out there,” Faraci says, “Mormons are demonstrating a willingness to have an open, uncomfortable conversation that some churches in America’s Christian community have been meticulously avoiding.”
The conversation he’s referring to is the problem of segregation and lack of diversity within Christianity—not just in the past, and not just in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He applauds Jane and Emma for facing the controversial topic head-on rather than carefully dancing around it.
What Jane and Emma is not
I haven’t seen the film, so I suppose this statement can be categorized as an educated guess: Jane and Emma is not Church propaganda.
Based on what I know so far and the featurettes I’ve seen, this film isn’t about the Church. It’s about an unlikely friendship and the results of that friendship. So if you’re thinking, “ah man, another one of those Church films,” you might be happily surprised. Take a look at what Brad Schmidt (not a Latter-day Saint), who plays Joseph Smith in the film, says: