Trembling Before G-d Sandi Simcha Dubowski

Trembling Before G-d Sandi Simcha Dubowski
I'm fond of this film because it's a topic my friends and I have argued for years. Why do people want to participate in a community that fundamentally excludes them? Trembling Before G-d, Sandi Simcha Dubowski's documentary about homosexual Orthodox and Hasidic Jews, is a powerful testament to faith and resilience. Trembling is about more than gaining understanding within a community and learning to accept ourselves, examining the role that faith and ritual play in each of our lives. The subjects may question the love of their family and community, but not the love of God. The participants are very honest about their lives — although, for obvious reasons, some chose to conceal their identity on camera — and often express the anger and frustration they feel. Others are more philosophical and determined to make a difference. Talking about their homosexuality and admitting it to the world means they may lose their family, if they haven't all ready. These personal stories are the heart of Trembling Before G-d and are what allows Dubowski to make a non-sterile and unique documentary. The DVD includes an impressive array of extras and packaging worthy of The Lord of the Rings. An earlier film of Dubowski's (Tomboychik) and more interviews with Rabbi Steven Greenberg (the first openly gay orthodox rabbi) are the highlights. The most interesting piece is a documentary about the effect Trembling has had around the world. People's reactions, whether gay or straight, no matter what is their religion, have been extraordinary. Trembling doesn't provide a happy Hollywood ending but it does open up a dialogue, and that is the most important thing of all. Plus: deleted scenes, glossary, more. (Mongrel Media)