Cinema Diverse! The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Religion Remains a Hot Topic in Cinema Diverse

Over the years, Cinema Diverse has featured a number of films dealing with religion, and this year's line-up is no exception. Two documentaries focus on two of America's largest protestant denominations. OUT OF ORDER explores the struggles of the Presbyterian Church to accept  LGBTQ clergy. Although the church officially voted to allow LGBTQ people to become ordained, many local churches resist hiring them.

AN ACT OF LOVE chronicles the trial of Reverend Frank Schaefer, who illegally officiated at his son's same sex wedding. His denomination, the United Methodist Church, allows LGBTQ people to be members but does not allow clergy to marry them. Two other films deal with the concept of whether or not LGBTQ people can be "cured" of their homosexuality. In FAIR HAVEN, the dangerous practice of conversion therapy is exposed as a fraud, while I AM MICHAEL, tells the controversial true story of a gay activist and writer who "rejects" his homosexuality in favor of a conservative brand of fundamentalist Christianity. Another feature, ORIENTED, confronts the challenges faced by LGBTQ Palistinians and Israeli Jews living together in Israel as they try to maintain friendships and intimate relationships in the face of two cultures that are determined to keep them apart. Several short films also grapple with religion, from the music video-like SON OF A PREACHER MAN to SEDER, with its surprise ending, to MOSHIEL, the story of an Orthodox Jew who is a triplet, a gay man, and a drag queen.

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