Trembling Before G-d

Directors/ Producers:
Sandi Simcha DuBowski
Release Date: 2001
Website: Official Website

At the film's Sundance premiere, Working Films organized a dialogue between the filmmaker, individuals in the film and Mormons about the struggle to reconcile one's faith and one's sexual identify. Now an extra on the DVD, this event was an extraordinary and emotional exchange, reaching across faith and geography. It was clear from the beginning that the narratives in Trembling would resonant with many audiences; it launched a movement.

Working Films created strategy with the producers while Trembling was still in production and brainstormed about the outreach strategy. Working Films also supported a screening and discussion tour of Trembling to Christian seminaries that asked future faith leaders to open their doors to gay and lesbian parishioners.

Trembling Before G-d is an unprecedented feature documentary that shatters assumptions about faith, sexuality, and religious fundamentalism. Built around intimately-told personal stories of Hasidic and Orthodox Jews who are gay or lesbian, the film portrays a group of people who face a profound dilemma - how to reconcile their passionate love of Judaism and the Divine with the drastic Biblical prohibitions that forbid homosexuality. As the film unfolds, we meet a range of complex individuals - some hidden, some out - from the world's first openly gay Orthodox rabbi to closeted, married Hasidic gays and lesbians to those abandoned by religious families to Orthodox lesbian high-school sweethearts.

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