a film by Morgan Jon Fox
2011 | 74 mins | US
›› This Is What Love in Action Looks Like
the shame that is conversion therapy.
This Is What Love in Action Looks Like by Morgan Jon Fox Conversion therapy; a repugnant procedure rightfully consigned to history. Well, so you would like to think. Only as this compelling true story poignantly illustrates, times sadly have not changed for some.

One such individual being Zach Stark; a sixteen-year-old teen who in 2005 summoned up the courage to come out to his parents, only to find himself standing in front of the doors of a Fundamentalist Christian group thereafter. Depressed and seemingly alone within the confines of a facility originally set up to "offer" consenting adults "freedom" from their homosexuality, Zach opened up his heart to an online blog, one that was soon to generate a deluge of public support for his plight. This telling documentary is his story and that of those who day after day stood proud to shout that - it's okay to be gay.

This Is What Love in Action Looks Like by Morgan Jon Fox Far removed from the joviality of the Jamie Babbit feature But I'm a Cheerleader, this powerful piece cuts to the core by way of its graphic depiction of the stark reality of life in a Memphis based "Refuge" program. For here, cue a strict set of rules and regulations, a mindset of shame and guilt and of a religious regime determined to drill you into being straight; whether you wish to go the hetero way, or not. Thankfully outside of their homophobic walls were those who thought otherwise. Friends of Zach and parents of gay offspring who stood united in one voice; that of love and acceptance.

Notably devoid of the thoughts of those of Exodus mind, who and by no surprise declined requests for an interview, but complete with many a heartfelt testimony from former inmates aka "clients," together with archive footage of the period, the result is a film that beautifully epitomizes the power of social activism, one that saw Love in Action executive director John Smid exit stage left and in offering a sincere apology for "anything I've done that has offended you or hurt you," go on to open a gay-friendly ministry. Yet I'm reminded of the reality of life. For as one conversion camp is forced to close its doors, another one can be found setting up shop under a different name, in another part of town. And that's the real shame here, as many a gay teenager in desperate need of the outstretched hand of unconditional parental love, instead comes to find themselves down at the end of lonely street. A moving work on times that for all too many LGBT youth, shockingly have not changed.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - none. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue 28.May.2012 / UK.
featuring: Zach Stark, Peterson Toscano, John Smid, Lance Carroll, Brandon Tidwell, Eileen Townsend,
Jenessa Williams, EJ Friedman, Janelle Treibitz, Chris Davis, Morgan Jon Fox,
Dr Roy Gilbert-Higginson and Sharon Horne, Phd.
official website:
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #490
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