New York Doll

I'd heard good things about the movie New York Doll, but I was unprepared for just how strong a film this is. While in film school, Greg Whiteley learns that Arthur "Killer" Kane is in his congregation and preparing to play a concert with his fellow New York Dolls. This has been Kane's dream, and comes after the group split up 30 years ago. During that time, Kane went from stardom and fame to obscurity. In the process he had a religious conversion and lived a humble life, working in a church library while dreaming for the day when he and the other two remaining members of the Dolls might play together again.

Through the efforts of Morrissey, the group reunited in 2004 to play a concert that exceeded everyone's expectations. Past hurt had been forgotten, and the band's music was a triumph.

In case you don't know Kane's story, I won't give away the ending of the film. I will say only that I was deeply touched by the story of this gentle soul. My musical tastes don't include the style of the Dolls, but this film will be one I watch many times for its beautiful message.

It also will be one I recommend to my class. Kane's story illustrates many elements in theories of conversion as well as the role that religion can play in one's life. Rent or purchase a copy of New York Doll and see for yourself. You will be glad you did.

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