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Raw Faith

Raw Faith is an intimate and revealing documentary that follows two years in the private life of Marilyn Sewell, an outspoken and socially progressive Unitarian minister who has re-energized her Portland community.

While serving a community that relies on her for wisdom and advice (on both personal and ethical issues), Marilyn struggles quietly with decisions about her own future. As she seeks to reconcile the commitments of her profession with a longing for intimacy and love, childhood memories of mental illness and alcoholism come back to the surface – and must be dealt with before she can move forward.

As Marilyn’s life unfolds in front of the camera (in real time), she shares her journey with remarkable candor, humor and increasing wisdom, ultimately leading her to an unexpected revelation of faith and love in all of its guises.



“Marilyn Sewell is a person who is able to communicate directly to people’s hearts. She is fearless where she stands,. It is an honor to know someone of her courage and compassion.” – Yangsi Rinpoche

“…it’s refreshing to see a documentary about a normal grown-up who is struggling with problems of life and love, just as so many invisible others do.” – The New York Times

“Raw Faith is as pared as Sewell’s sermons, as there doesn’t seem to be a misplaced or gratuitous moment in the entire film…one of the most emotionally accurate and empathetic documentaries I’ve seen in years.” – Slant Magazine

“Shining an intimate light on an individual in order to reveal greater truths about life and the world, Raw Faith focuses on progressive-minded Portland, Oregon, Unitarian minister Marilyn Sewell.” – The Village Voice

“…as holistic a portrait of religious devotion and engagement as exists in recent memory, and an achingly, profoundly moving snapshot of how the human experience is meant to be shared.” – Brent Simon