Til Kingdom Come Is a Documentary About Evangelical Support for Israel
Is this support good or bad?
“Til Kingdom Come” is a new documentary from Israeli director Maya Zinshtein which tells the story of how American Evangelical Christians show unyielding support for Israel. Millions of American Evangelicals pray for the State of Israel every day. But not all Americans are pleased with this group’s influence over their country’s foreign policy.
It is certainly no revelation that American Christian fundamentalists are strong supporters of Israel. This has certainly been the case since at least the 1980s when preachers like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson came into prominence. They made support of Israel an inseparable part of their political agendas. It was the same group of evangelicals who supported President Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.
As a result, they had enough influence over his administration to help change American policies regarding Jerusalem. This was cited by many political observers as a reason why the trump Administration recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capitol. Israel’s supporters in America were, of course, elated by this. But many people were also disconcerted the Evangelical influence over the White House.
The new documentary tell the story of one such evangelical family, the Binghams. The Binghams are a dynasty of Kentucky pastors who, along with their Evangelical congregants, live in an impoverished coal mining town. They donate sacrificially to Israel’s foremost philanthropic organization, because they fervently believe the Jews are crucial to Jesus’s return.
This film traces what its makers describe as an unusual relationship, from rural Kentucky to the halls of government in Washington, through the moving of the American Embassy in Jerusalem and to the annexation plan of the West-Bank. It boasts and expose and a stunning backstory of the Trump and Netanyahu administrations, where “financial, political and messianic motivations intersect with the apocalyptic worldview that is insistently reshaping American foreign policy toward Israel and the Middle-East.”
“I’m excited about the release of ‘‘Til Kingdom Come’ in the US…,” said Maya Zinshtein in a statement. “As Israeli filmmakers, we had a unique access to explore both sides of this surprising bond between Evangelical Christians and the state of Israel. It highlights the dangerous mix of religion and politics during Trump’s presidency and is extremely relevant, right here, right now.”
She told Screen Daily, “Maybe it sounds naive but I do not think we should have such an external influence in our lives,” says Zinshtein. ”By bringing this to public awareness, maybe I can make this influence become smaller…[Maybe] next time Israeli politicians will think twice before hosting [US] evangelical representatives in our Parliament. At least people [might now] see the complexity of this bond.”
Maya Zinshtein, Director/Producer
Maya Zinshtein is an Emmy award winning Israeli documentary filmmaker and journalist. Among numerous prestigious awards, Zinshtein was named best director at the 2016 Jerusalem Film Festival for her acclaimed documentary “Forever Pure” which later went on to win an Emmy award for Outstanding Politics and Government documentary in 2018 (Independent Lens/PBS).
For the last ten years she has directed and produced documentaries broadcast on Israeli TV and abroad including by Netflix, BBC, ARTE/ZDF, and PBS, and screened at over 100 festivals around the world. An alumna of Sundance Institute, she teaches at Sam Spiegel film school in Jerusalem and serves on the jury of Israeli and International film festivals.