Latter Day Jew


Converting to Judaism isn't something to be taken lightly, but that doesn't mean it can't be funny. Comedian H. Alan Scott is known for his appearances on Ellen and The Jimmy Kimmel Show and hosting a Golden Girls podcast, but things get personal when the gay ex-Mormon embarks on a religious journey that (of course) culminates in a bar mitzvah. Scott's hilarious quest is front and center in this personal doc that intersperses his standup with chats with prominent Jewish comedians like Judy Gold, clips from famous onscreen conversions (Sex and the City, Family Guy) and even a trip to Israel to experience Tel Aviv Pride and blow a shofar. And while comedy is king and one cannot deny the hilarity of a 30-year-old man training for his bar mitzvah with a room of 12-year-olds, the best scenes of the film address the true challenges in Scott's conversion: What does it mean for his relationship with his Mormon family in Missouri? How did his scare with cancer impact his religious journey? How does his gay identity intersect with his religion and does the Mormon stance on LGBTQ issues impact others leaving the faith? Not all questions are easily answered, but in these moments this docu-comedy goes beyond laugh-out-loud humor. - Alexis Whitham

Director Aliza Rosen and subject H. Alan Scott in person

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Kelly Woyan