A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.
Modest story of identity realization and coming-of-age truth
This small film is a triumph of down-to-earth storytelling on the experience of young people going through gay conversion therapy through religious browbeating. It's the story of a teenage girl, Cameron Post, played with visceral substance by Chloe Grace Moretz, who experiences life in exactly this type of setting. Her story begins when she is discovered engaging in sexual intimacy with a female classmate during prom and is sent by her outraged aunt to a ghastly gay conversion camp in a rural area. She soon meets two other teenage members (Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck, both excellent) who secretly refuse to embrace the camp's philosophy.
Although this could have been something more dramatic and perhaps could have gone a bit deeper, it's not a misfire by virtue of being slight in its length or in its treatment of the difficult material. It is alternately heartbreaking and outrageous but also at times bemusing as the camp veers between apparent sadism and pitiful ineptitude in trying to pound its young members into submission. Jennifer Ehle is powerful as the camp's leader and psychologist in an icy, Nurse Ratched-like performance who has her brother, a "cured" gay man as the camp's spiritual leader. The film also does not shy away from showing the emotional toll on even the camp's most docile members.
Even though the film's resolution seems too casual and almost too simple, I still found it quite satisfying, together with a roaring soundtrack which toward the end conveys a ray of hope. Recommended for its thoughtful approach and fine performances.
26 of 47 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this