That sounds like an excellent idea, Yonts!
Sort of like the Apple “switch” commercials?
Yes, in a sense. (It’s funny that you mention those spots, which were directed by Errol Morris. When trying to imagine a documentary made almost entirely of interviews, I often think of Morris’ “The Fog of War.”)
From some of the reading I’ve done it seems that the escape itself is often the most interesting part of the story. People might go through a period of leading a double life, such as changing out of the Hasidic garb and into jeans and heading for a different part of town. Or an Amish kid sneaks a look at TV while he’s working at a neighbor’s farm.
I don’t necessarily want to limit it to people who have left religion entirely. It could still make an interesting story if someone moved from fundamentalism to a more moderate belief. I think some common themes may emerge:
The big switch often happens in your late teens or early twenties.
Often there’s someone who has paved the way—an older sibling, perhaps.
Clothes and head coverings—Mormon underwear, yarmulkes, whatever—can be factors.
“What will the neighbors think?” is often as important as what God might think. The disapproval of other members of the group seems to be a powerful tool for keeping people in line.
There’s hell to pay, if you’ll pardon the pun, from the friends and family you leave behind. This seems to be a big factor among the Amish and Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example.
That’s a little of what I think right now, but that may change after I’ve done some interviews. I do want the film to be primarily about the specific experiences of the people in it, and let the viewer draw the conclusions.
Doug, if you don’t think it’s too much like double-posting, I’ll start a separate thread encouraging people to contact me directly.