The Eyes Of Tammy Faye

A love letter to the former Tammy Faye Bakker that debuted as part of Cinemax's "Reel World" series, this documentary raises provocative questions about the fall of the PTL Christian broadcasting empire. Using original interviews, archival footage and clips from sources as various as Jessica Hahn's Playboy video and the 1990 TV-movie Fall From Grace, documentarians...read more

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A love letter to the former Tammy Faye Bakker that debuted as part of Cinemax's "Reel World" series, this documentary raises provocative questions about the fall of the PTL Christian broadcasting empire. Using original interviews, archival footage and clips

from sources as various as Jessica Hahn's Playboy video and the 1990 TV-movie Fall From Grace, documentarians Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey (PARTY MONSTER) chart the rise and spectacular fall of pioneering televangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker, from their early years preaching gospel

to children with makeshift singing puppets, to their disgrace in the '80s. The PTL (Praise the Lord) satellite network made them famous and furthered Tammy's mission: putting the fun into fundamentalism. "You don't have to be dowdy to be a Christian," she chirps. The litany of her afflictions

would drive most people to sackcloth and ashes: Bakker betrayed her with the aforementioned Hahn; she was pilloried by the press, snubbed by fellow Christians, rejected by her daughter (they later reconciled), got colon cancer, became a prescription drug addict, and saw her second husband, Roe

Messner, jailed on charges she swears were trumped up. And still she keeps on going, an evangelical Energizer bunny. For all the naïveté — OK, tackiness — of the Bakkers' presentation, Bailey and Barbato make a compelling case that their interdenominational ministry was

unusually inclusive: The clips of Tammy Faye embracing AIDS sufferers and other "sinners" are disarming. Tammy Faye's denunciation of the sanctimonious Jerry Falwell, who took over PTL and ran it into the ground, is seconded by less intimately involved parties; and of those accusations of fiscal

mismanagement, Tammy Faye swears that she and Jim made mistakes... just mistakes. Whatever the complicated truth about PTL, Tammy Faye's homespun charisma is undeniable; if only the Lord would give her the strength to say, "Get thee behind me, false eyelashes!"

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: A love letter to the former Tammy Faye Bakker that debuted as part of Cinemax's "Reel World" series, this documentary raises provocative questions about the fall of the PTL Christian broadcasting empire. Using original interviews, archival footage and clip… (more)

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