Thursday, November 08, 2007

Two Movie Recommendations

Hit one of my favorite theaters last night, the Camelot in Palm Springs and caught two new movies, both well worth seeing.

The first, "For the Bible Tells Me So," is a documentary looking at the effects of religion on the lives of a variety of families with a gay child. The Rev. Gene Robinson, the new Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire (whose consecration caused an uproar that is still resonating), and his parents are profiled, as are Chrissy Gephardt and her family, but the other families are not ordinarily in the public eye. Though each story has its own unique elements, the basic narrative is the same in each -- a family of faith is shocked and/or disgusted when one of their children comes out to them (one when he was just 16, most while in their 20s, but Gene Robinson waited until his 50s to break the news), and after a period of challenge, comes to some sense of resolution. Not always acceptance, but at least resolution, except for one tragic instance.

Intercut with these stories are interviews with a variety of clergy, as well as footage from many right-wing types, including Pat Robertson and Jimmy Swaggert, and a very clear and concise cartoon explanation on the causes of homosexuality.

Though the film definitely has an agenda, it is remarkably even-handed and fair-minded. (As opposed to, say, the films of Michael Moore.) Should be required viewing for every parent.

The second feature was Ang Lee's newest, "Lust, Caution." Set in China during the Japanese occupation of WWII, the movies tells the story of a group of student actors who become resistance activists. Gorgeous photography, wonderful performances, but best of all a very strong, compelling story. Go see. (But be warned, the sex scenes are quite realistic and relatively graphic.)

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