Documentary about the lives of gay and lesbian orthodox and Hasidic Jews
Trembling Before G_d tells the story of orthodox Jews who have the misfortune to be gay in a faith that adheres rigidly to the homophobic line taken by Leviticus in the Old Testament, which describes the practice as an “abomination”.
We meet Devorah who, married for years with numerous children, can no longer repress her lifelong lesbian urges. Then there’s the diligently orthodox yet flamboyantly gay Mark, who, despite being HIV positive, adds a defiant note of joie de vivre to this remarkable, moving film.
All of which begs the question: why don’t they abandon such a cruel Old Testament faith? Yet we see how their religion is as ingrained in their sense of self as their sexuality?they can deny neither, and must reconcile them. But, as David?who was told as a child to flick a rubber band on his wrist whenever he felt gay urges?discovers his rabbi has nothing helpful to say to him.
Director Sandi Simcha Dubowski’s unique film is a seething indictment of ultra-religious dogma in all its life-denying forms. Powerful stuff.