Written by: Adam Vaughn | February 25th, 2021
‘Til Kingdom Come (Maya Zinshtein, 2020) 3 out of 4 stars.
For anyone keenly attuned to their spiritual beliefs, ‘Til Kingdom Come weaves an inspiring and insightful story of two unlikely groups who come together during trying times. Director Maya Zinshtein (Forever Pure) examines how Evangelical Christians in the United States are helping Jews in Israel make it through everyday life. The film follows “Appalachian Christians” and other various Evangelical churches and schools that connect to Israel, and the various works of former President and Vice President Donald Trump and Mike Pence. While the overall film feels very opinionated, and doesn’t necessarily lead the viewer to any emotional point of view, ‘Til Kingdom Come does succeed in informing the viewer on the distinctive ties between Christian and Jewish believers.
The strongest element to ‘Til Kingdom Come is without a doubt its extensive captured imagery and B-roll. With copious found footage and interviews with key members of the Evangelical movement and the Jewish community, the visual impact of ‘Til Kingdom Come is director Zinshtein’s true achievement. The mise-en-scène clearly showcases locations and personalities, from the United States’ Appalachia all the way to war-torn Israel, and the Jewish community’s stance on Evangelical Christian support and the evolution of this people’s mindset over the decades. Not only does Zinshtein capture the large-scale environments of these locations, but also the more intimate perspective (small homes in Appalachia and Israel, the various Evangelical churches found in the American Midwest, etc.).
At its lowest point, ‘Til Kingdom Come tends to loop itself into a narrative repetition, revisiting several ideas without restating them in a new and fresh manner. Overall, the production value shines through in a low-budget manner, despite the eye-opening and effective visuals, which can detach the viewer at times from staying engaged in the story. While ‘Til Kingdom Come has many heartfelt moments depicting the sorrowful struggle of Israeli Jews, most moments outwardly push an Evangelical agenda, which often gets wrapped up in its own content, inadvertently tunnel-visioning the tone of the piece.
At its conclusion, ‘Til Kingdom Come comes to a screeching halt, offering little impact with its ending or final message. The film as a whole serves as a tremendous source of valuable information, but would be better off being presented as a limited series. As a full-length feature, however, ‘Til Kingdom Come gets its main ideas out of the way early, and spends a considerable amount of the second half of the film beating around the bush.