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'Meet the Mormons' shows diverse lives, to a point

 'Meet the Mormons' shows diverse lives, to a point
A scene from "Meet the Mormons." (Handout)

Blair Treu, the director of "Meet the Mormons," described his film to the Salt Lake Tribune as a documentary produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for nonmembers — a project that started as a visitor center piece for the church's Legacy Center. The film operates under the assumption that the average Joe associates Mormonism more with "Sister Wives" than Mitt Romney, so the film will be an eye-opener only for subscribers to such stereotypes.

It profiles six Mormons handpicked to prove its point: the black Bishop Jermaine Sullivan, the Pacific Islander U.S. Naval Academy football coach Ken Niumatalolo, the Costa Rican kick boxer Carolina Muñoz Marin, the 93-year-old retired Army Air Corps Col. Gail Halvorsen, the Nepalese humanitarian Bishnu Adhikari, and the formerly homeless missionary mom Dawn Armstrong. The point: They are perfectly normal, just like you.

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The film repeatedly points out how these Mormons, the majority people of color, get along famously with family members of other faiths: Sullivan and his Baptist sister, Muñoz Marin and her Catholic father. There's nothing remotely critical here. Of course, the film steers clear of controversy by excluding any LGBT Mormon voice or any mention of the church's stance on homosexuality.

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"Meet the Mormons"

MPAA rating: PG for thematic elements.

Running time: 1 hour, 18 minutes.

Playing: At Cinemark 18 & XD, Los Angeles; AMC Burbank Town Center 8; Cinemark at the Pike, Long Beach; Edwards Long Beach Stadium 26; Cinemark 22, Lancaster.

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