In May 1926, celebrity Pentecostal evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson went missing for five weeks. When she was found alive, McPherson claimed she was kidnapped from California and held hostage in Mexico. Authorities, though, doubted McPherson’s story and convened a grand jury investigation into her disappearance (all charges were later dropped against McPherson). Rumors circulated that McPherson absconded to Mexico with her then-lover, KFSG AM radio engineer Kenneth G. Ormiston. Written and directed by Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann, the Austin-shot period comedy Sister Aimee speculates as to what happened to the evangelist during the five weeks she disappeared. Austin’s Anna Margaret Hollyman stars as McPherson, who in Sister Aimee runs off to Mexico with Ormiston when she believes she has lost her faith healing powers. They are joined in Mexico by their guide, Rey, whose secret past life connects her to the legendarily Mexico revolutionary Pancho Villa. Sister Aimee also is set against the backdrop of the Cristero War. Michael Mosley portrays Ormiston and Andrea Suarez Paz portrays Rey. Sister Aimee will screen 11 a.m. March 16 at the AFS Cinema during this year’s SXSW Film Festival. Sister Aimee represents the narrative feature film directorial debut of Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann. They previously worked together with Sister Aimee star Anna Margaret Hollyman on the 2015 short The Mink Catcher.
Aired: March 14, 2019