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Virgin Tales
A film by Mirjam von Arx
France/Germany/Switzerland, 2012, 87 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W131104
Evangelical Christians are calling out for a second sexual revolution: chastity! As a counter-movement to the attitudes and practices of contemporary culture, one in eight girls in the U.S. today has vowed to remain "unsoiled" until marriage. But the seven children of Randy and Lisa Wilson, the Colorado Springs founders of the Purity Ball, take the concept one step further. They save even the first kiss for the altar.

Following the Wilsons for two years, this impressive documentary observes the family’s life up close as some of their children prepare for their fairytale vision of romance and marriage, and seek out their own prince and princess spouses. As VIRGIN TALES takes in home routines, church services, social gatherings, conventions and purity balls, a broader theme emerges: how the religious right is grooming a young generation of virgins to embody an Evangelically-grounded Utopia in America.


Zurich Film Award

  • Visions du Réel Festival International du Cinéma Nyon
  • Locarno International Film Festival
  • Vancouver International Film Festival
  • Silverdocs Film Festival
  • Starz Denver Film Festival
  • Woodstock Film Festival

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    "There’s something indescribably creepy about watching teenage girls at father-daughter purity balls pledge to marry men just like Daddy, which is why Mirjam von Arx’s scrupulously respectful stance in VIRGIN TALES is the wisest position she could take."

    "The film provides an important glimpse into fundamentalisms’ modus operandi and their preferred battleground: Women’s bodies. VIRGIN TALES successfully captures the inner workings of masculinist supremacy, its coding as religion awakening, and its dressing in gowns and tuxedos."
    Claudia Brazzale, Ph.D., Global Scholar,
    Institute for Research on Women, Rutgers

    "An intriguing glimpse into the touchy-feely faith and lifestyle of a modern American Evangelical family..."
    Screen Daily

    "Virgin Tales is a deeply engaging film that illuminates the complicated intersection of personal and political power in modern day America."
    CBC's, The Passionate Eye

    "Because the film documents rather than demonizes, the issues become clear and unclouded for everyone watching, and make this the sort of film more documentaries should aspire to be. "
    The Washingtonian

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    Virgin Tales is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us