Danny Ziegfeld (Theodore Bouloukos) is the director of a local theatre company and stage-combat academy in Provincetown, Massachusetts. After his troupe abandons him, he sits on an empty outdoor stage by the sea, staring off into nowhere until 12-year-old Gideon Bellamont (Lucas Fox Philips) appears before him: a mysterious and highly articulate boy with long and curly flaxen hair and a mismatched military outfit befitting another century. Wielding a small sword and a milk jug, Gideon has no money and no home. Concerned for the child, Danny decides to take him home. Later that evening, Danny has a minor heart attack but, luckily, Gideon is there to call an ambulance. On his recovery bed, Danny grows fearful of his mortality and decides to adopt Gideon with the notion of training him to take over the academy one day. Not long after they’ve settled into this new domestic situation, however, Gideon reveals that he is deeply religious and wants to spend all of his time converting people to Christianity. Despite his own apathy toward religion, Danny hopes that Gideon’s fanaticism is just a phase and agrees to help. Their efforts are freewheeling and endearing at first: Danny and Gideon enact staged miracles, wherein Danny pretends to rob pedestrians and Gideon saves them, attributing this “miracle” to God. But this method proves to be ineffective, and Gideon becomes evermore obsessed with his mission. While Danny struggles to maintain the theatrical training—and to be a good father—Gideon refuses to do anything but evangelize, construing increasingly radical schemes, to the point where killing in the name of God is not out of the question. The result is a darkly comic fable and allegorical critique on the excesses of fundamentalism.

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