Trembling Before G-d (2001)
Critic Consensus: Trembling Before G-d looks at the effects of religious morality on believers whose sexuality falls outside the accepted norm with intelligence and compassion.
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Critic Reviews for Trembling Before G-d
Moving and, ultimately, hopeful -- a hope that extends further than most documentaries allow.
A unique documentary about the crisis confronting gay and lesbian Jews who wish to remain part of the Orthodox and Hasidic branches of Judaism.
So how do gay men and lesbians who want to practice Orthodox Judaism reconcile these two seemingly contradictory forces in their lives? Director Sandi Simcha DuBowski's Trembling Before G-D examines this dilemma with compassion and sensitivity.
To the film's considerable credit, it focuses on the power of faith more than on the power of desire.
Audience Reviews for Trembling Before G-d
[font=Century Gothic]"Trembling before G-d" is a documentary about the difficulties faced by gay men and lesbians living in the Hasidic and Orthodox Jewish communities where biblical passages have been interpreted to condemn homosexuality. Another obstacle is how tight knit these communities are, making it extremely hard for a person to come out of the closet, especially when they are expected to marry and have children.(Thus explaining why certain participants have their faces blurred for the camera.) It is very sad seeing people forced to live lies.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]The movie talks to gays and lesbians in Los Angeles, Miami, Brooklyn and Israel, along with rabbis and psychologists in the community. Whereas some professionals are clearly empathetic, others simply ask their charges to change and conform.(By the way, I think the woman with 12 children is not depressed because of her husband's struggle.) In the end, it is much easier to tell someone what to believe than it is to tell them how to feel. And if god exists, then I would be sure that she loves gays and lesbians as much as everybody else. [/font]
The idea for this documentary is great. Hearing about the reaction to gay and lesbianism in cultures is fascinating. The problem is the execution. It simply doesn't grip us. This is a lost opportunity.
It's well made, but it seemed a bit repetitive, the subject matter seems more suited to a film of perhaps an hour. I was always interested, but there were definitely some slow stretches.
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