Trembling Before G-d (2001)

Genres - Spirituality & Philosophy, Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Religions & Belief Systems, Gender Issues, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 84 min.  |   Countries - France, Israel, USA  |  
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Director Sandi Simcha DuBowski makes his feature-length film debut with the documentary Trembling Before G-d, a look at gays and lesbians in Hasidic and Orthodox Judaism. Made over several years in New York, California, Israel, Britain, and Florida, the film follows the lives of several people struggling to express both their faith and their sexuality. In L.A., pianist David is an Orthodox gay man who has been through over ten years of therapy to supposedly "cure" his homosexuality. He visits the Chabad rabbi whom he first came out to over 20 years before. Michelle is a Hasidic lesbian who lives in Brooklyn. Having married only to please her family, she's been ostracized from her community ever since the divorce. Also in Brooklyn, Israel is a gay man who's abandoned much of his Hasidic life and hasn't seen his father in over 20 years. In London, twentysomething Mark is a the son of an Orthodox rabbi. He came out during a trip to Israel, which was supposed to rid him of his sexual questioning. Some participants prefer to remain anonymous or at least slightly obscured, including a lesbian couple who met in Hebrew school and an ultra-Orthodox closeted lesbian. The film also features some footage with various doctors and religious leaders, including the progressive psychotherapist Shlomo Ashkinazy and the first openly gay Orthodox rabbi, Steve Greenberg.

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homosexual, Judaism [Orthodox], lesbianism, Torah, Hassidic, homophobia