Louisville Jewish Film Festival: The Therapy Virtual Film
Set in Jerusalem, this gripping documentary exposes the harmful practices of so-called conversion therapy from within. Director Zvi Landsman compassionately follows the lives of two gay men—Lev (54) and Ben (23)—who underwent conversion therapy and end up testifying before the Knesset about whether or not conversion therapy practices should be made illegal. Lev, a divorced ultra-Orthodox Jew, clings to conversion therapy because it provides the only space where he can be openly gay within a community. In contrast, Ben, seven years into conversion therapy, comes to understand that conversion therapy is extremely harmful, and despite discrimination and alienation from his family, he sets out on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance. Featuring footage from one-on-one and group sessions, this documentary is an unprecedented exposé of this abusive, tragic and terrifying practice in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in contemporary Israel. Winner of Special Jury Award at Doc Aviv Film Festival.