Wednesday, October 24, 2018

New films about something that should not be

Today I ran across a piece about two new films about the “ex-gay” torture scam. It is something that should never be allowed to exist, and is increasingly being outlawed. But times are changing, going backward, so maybe it’s a good idea to talk about it in film.

The review I saw was “Boy Erased is a safe and predictable take on the horrors of gay conversion” by the University of Melbourne’s Stuart Richards and published by Australian site, The Conversation (an interesting project, by the way).

The film in the title, Boy Erased (trailer above) is based on Boy Erased: A Memoir of Identity, Faith and Family by Garrard Conley. In talking about the film Richards presents the film as being something for general audiences, to help them understand the problem with “ex-gay” torture scams. The film will be released in the USA November, but not until sometime in 2019 in New Zealand.

That description made me think of the 1982 film Making Love, which could have been a similar educational movie—except that it was apparently mostly gay men who went to see it. At the time, a friend said to me that he wished the audiences for Making Love and Victor/Victoria, which was around the same time, were switched.

In any case, the other film that Richards talked about, and felt was better, was The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which was released in the USA last August, and is now at one Auckland cinema. The US trailer:

Miseducation is about friendship, while Boy is about a family, so they are very different approaches, even if they’re based the same problem—the “ex-gay” scam.

I’ve already seen a film about this, but it was a comedy that makes the grim subject bearable. It was 1999’s But I’m A Cheerleader (trailer below).

Obviously this subject is not funny, even though a comedy film can be. What amazes me is that in 2018 we’re STILL talking about ending the “ex-gay” torture scam—and New Zealand is nowhere near the point of doing it. Maybe films will help speed that up. But, I kind of doubt it.

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