Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Documentary About Uptown Religious Community Featured In USA Today

Jaime Prater's documentary about child sexual abuse in Uptown's JPUSA community is getting nationwide attention. It's featured on the front page of USA Today, in an article entitled Film sheds light on Jesus People's dark stories:
When filmmaker Jaime Prater decided to make a documentary exploring the lives of the children he grew up with at the Jesus People USA religious community, he says he never imagined his research would "open the floodgates."

Stories poured out of sexual and physical abuse. More than a dozen adults who lived as children at Jesus People relate their stories in Prater's film, No Place to Call Home, which has been released on Vimeo on Demand.
The article goes on to say that two lawsuits have been filed against JPUSA, now located at 920 West Wilson, and its parent entity, the Evangelical Covenant Church, headquartered in Chicago.

Long-time readers of Uptown Update have followed the evolution of Jaime's documentary, going back to when it was entitled Born.  We followed him through a Kickstarter campaign to finance the travel involved for his interviews with alleged sexual abuse victims all over the country, and ran an interview with him last June.

Many might find it puzzling that Jaime still says he loves JPUSA and many of the former and current members, and that's why he made this documentary: to shine the light on what he and the people he interviewed for his film say they experienced there. With national media picking up on the story, we think he's been successful in his mission. We hope for an honest accounting of whatever really happened to the children who lived at JPUSA, and we wish healing for those who feel their lives were fractured by their time there.

On the Facebook page about the film, there is much more information, and Jaime posted recently:
"Sexual abuse devastates everyone that it touches, whether that's the family of the survivor or the perpetrator. There is compassion that is needed for all involved, not condemnation nor shaming. Sexual abuse comes from a deep sense of brokenness, and it's only through compassion and forgiveness that we find ourselves whole again."


  1. I have been vimeo multiple times and cannot locate No Place to Call Home there. Can anyone help me locate it?

  2. Ask and you shall receive. Here's a link.

    I imagine at some point it will end up on Netflix/Hulu/etc.

    I'm hoping at some point Jaime finds a local theater to "premier" it at. Patio or Facets or Music Box might work.

    Or perhaps the Jesus People would let him use their Wilson Abbey space.

    They do bill it as:

    "Community. Faith. Art. A concert venue, theater, art gallery, and event location in Uptown, Chicago.'

    Sounds like a good fit to me.